Category Archives: Beautiful world

Getting Out…

A moment just watching….

Today, instead of moping… and to give both myself and Fluffle (poor kitty boy… I wrote a post about him and why we both need) a break, I took a drive down to Winterthur. Sunny, but there’s a cold breeze out on the hillside. Still, the scenery has been inspiring. Hopefully, some of the scenery will help inspire some creativity that doesn’t involve my cellphone camera.

Because of the Fluffle matter, my writing has been close to nil. I also haven’t been reaching my editing or beta reading goals (BIG apologies, You Know Who). I have managed to keep the ROW80 blog scheduled (though that was a close thing).

I think, in general, I’m doing quite well. While I’m not making a ton of forward momentum, I am still keeping up with things that would mess up other people if I let them slide. And… I am making a point to do some self-care when things are so, so crazy.

Crazy how? Well, tbh, none of it is extraordinary. There is just a lot of it. Some is a bit absurd, such as having to cut 4 mm pills in half to give Fluffle the correct does of one of his medications (of which there are six). We won’t discuss the success I’ve been having trying to get get him to actually take those 1/2 pills….

There’s also the long-distance event planning for Dad’s Celebration of Life service. And coordinating the trip north when my son has his Junior Formal the night before. (If you’re local and coming to the service, please don’t be offended if I seem a bit tired and out of it.)

There’s normal stuff too, of course. Normal cleaning, decluttering, yardwork, housework, car maintenance… All the stuff that won’t wait even when you wish it could.

Cranberry Lake

And there’s all those things I really want to get done: writing, drawing, reading…. the stuff that takes the stolen moment, needs at least a quieted spirit to reach its potential.

That stuff is where I’m most lacking in progress these days—the stuff that the ROW80 challenge is supposed to be about. Does this mean I’m failing at my goals?



I don’t know. I just know I am going to keep trying to find those moments of beauty and creative energy. They sustain me.

How are you doing?

(This post is part of the A Round of Words in 80 Days Writing Challenge. To learn more, to join, or to check-in on our other members, look here.)

Among and Of Art

Today's Temporary Office Space

Today’s Temporary Office Space

Today I decided to step out of my comfort zone and step into a café I normally don’t go to (mostly because it’s about an hour from home–I just had come this way for a dentist appointment* and a visit with Mom).  With a few free hours before my next thing and with heading home a stupid proposition since I had be back this way for it, I felt this was the time to give this place another try.

I confess…  this place doesn’t work for me most of the time.  And today was no exception.  If I hadn’t needed something more doughy than flaky (and definitely not crunchy once the Novocaine started wearing off), I would have been highly disappointed in my ordered nibble (a buttered croissant that tasted frightfully like a Pillsbury Crescent Roll from a tube that had been “baked” in a microwave oven–under-baked at that).  The tea was good, but then as long as the water is clear and heated right, I usually can monitor the steeping to my taste just fine.

Still, I’m so very glad I came.  OMG, the paintings!  A local artist, named Tim Dobert, had several works displayed about the backrooms.  Incredible stuff.  His work with water effects is just…  Wow!

Even in this iPhone4 image you can see how good the water looks

Even in this iPhone4 pic you can see how good the water looks (I posted this to my Facebook to gloat a bit about my happy “office away from home”)

I  so wish I had the money to buy a painting.

Maybe after I find out what the oral surgeon I need to hire for the next tooth is going to do our bank accounts…  Just kidding.  Then the money will go to the oil bill, the car and house insurance… trivial stuff.

Guess I need to learn how to paint.

Not now though.  In lieu of a career as a talented painter**, let me update you on my progress as another kind of starving artist…

ROW80 Check-in

After yesterday, I bet I’m ready to take up a PT job as a proofreader.  The last few days have all been spent editing and beta-ing.   Sometimes it hurt to snip and trim…  I loved the work so much as it was, even when I knew it didn’t fit the guidelines.  Some pieces…  I’ll be honest, annoyed me because the creators took the suggestion that this was a place to promote their work very seriously.  I’m not big into ‘market speak” and “You too can…” genre of sales-speak just gives me the willies.  I understand where it comes from; these days, everyone feels almost forced to sell themselves to someone… audience, employers, even stores!  The urge to be the next Best Thing can seem overpowering in our society.ROW80Logocopy

I never wanted “IN” on that.  I so very much never wanted IN, that seeing this post by KM Weiland just made the world feel sane and happy again.  Or at least a place where I can stay sane, which is good enough for me.

But what all that meant for my goals is…  I’m squeaking by.  Almost.  Sort of…

Not really.

If you don’t mind, I’d rather not go through the list and explore my failures in fine detail.  Accept they are there and that I have a bunch of work to catch up on before Sunday, and then go visit some other ROWers here for hopefully more happy news.

Me?  I’m off to enjoy a song or two and get my 750words for the day done.  Here are two of my favorite car ride and contemplate tunes if you’d like to enjoy with me, both from the Avalanches album Since I Left You:

*I’ve had the same dentist since high school, and I don’t deal with change well…  don’t judge.  😉

** As I noted in this post, my brushwork could use some brushing up.

With Her Head in the Clouds — ST4S/ROW80

Windy and cloudy...  on Greylock Mountain

Windy and cloudy… on Greylock Mountain

Yesterday we took a bit of a drive across the Massachusetts border to the little town of Williamstown and its friendly neighborhood mountains Greylock, Raimer and Smith Hill (where Petersburg Pass is located).  There are a bunch of wonderful hiking trails in the woods there.

There’s also a lighthouse on top of a mountain.  Not that you could tell yesterday….

The Greylock War Memorial Lighthouse

The Boodle didn’t mind–he was thrilled to be running in a “cloud”

This is more or less what we saw, as a cloud had decided to settle on top of the mountain for the afternoon.  It’s amazing how easily something as big as a lighthouse can hide in that much water vapor.

I took this at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Imagine what this must cloud cover could do to a small airplane at night.  Not that the Veteran’s Memorial Tower was really designed as a lighthouse, but for many years it was the brightest beacon for over 70 miles round it.  At the very least, its (nearly) perpetual light would have helped prevent someone from flying into the tower itself or any of the many television antennae that use Greylock as their transmission points.

In Bascom Lodge

Relaxing and playing games

Another thing about being on a windy cloud covered mountain that one might not know…  It’s cold.  Fortunately there was plenty of warmth in the Bascom Lodge (as well as very yummy ginger lemonade and maple cookies).  No fires were lit in the fireplace, but lots of people gathered around it anyway.

But as nice as the lodge was to spend a few moments in after the chill of the summit, we hadn’t gone to the mountain for crowds.  We’d gone to hike.  Since the observation deck of the Memorial was closed off for repairs, we quickly headed off to find a trailhead.  The Overlook Trail ended up being our best choice as it was on the sheltered side of the mountain.  Not even three steps into the tree cover and that sweatshirt I’d been desperately zipping up around my neck came off and got tied around my waist.

A mile and a quarter downhill, then back up…  It was a good two hours of pictures in the woods, occasional peeks into the Hopper (as the big conical hollow in Greylock is called), but very little “overlooking”.  The tree cover (and the tree color) was too omnipresent to  see far into the valley.

Another year, I guess…


Meeting at the Reservoir

Meeting at the Reservoir

Not too much has happened since Wednesday’s check-in.  I’ve slacked off a bit on my plotting for Courting a Swan Song.  The editing of photos has gone well; I’ve averaged three pictures a day with extras today because I took so many images on the mountain yesterday.

What I haven’t done is finish my sponsor post for the ROW80 blog.  I have lost my notes somewhere along the way on my computer.  I’m making it my goal to finish the post by Friday.  That gives me a chance to get the other stuff done I need to do and lets me look over the finished piece after a day’s wait.

Just one more picture to enjoy (though, if you wish, I have uploaded a few to my Flickr feed finally)….

A "moss-tasche"

Look, Ma! A “moss-tache”!