Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: summer

I See Your Dunkin’ Donuts and I Raise You Rita’s

Holy heatwave, Los Angeles.

We’ve officially turned our a/c on and let it run all night while we slept, then all day for the dog while we worked. It hit a record high of 106* F in the Valley today. It is disgusting.

You would see my tears if they weren’t evaporating immediately into the incinerating air.

Recently, Los Angeles got its first Dunkin’ Donuts. Being originally from the east coast, this is a pretty big deal in our house. We’re looking forward to getting our iced coffees and breakfast sandwiches with a side of nostalgia, but the line has been wrapped around the block since it opened. Um, it’s good, but not that good.

And yes, working-class iced coffees the size of your head are a hot commodity during a heatwave, but there is no limit to my excitement for the fact that we now have Rita’s.

Which means I get to eat GELATI!

Let me explain

Take mango water ice, which is the consistency of a thick slurpee or a very melty italian ice and top it with a swirl of thick, delicious vanilla custard to create the gelati. My preferred method is to eat it with a spoon, taking a bit of custard and a bit of ice in each bite.

So if you’re trying to stay cool, LA, go do yourself a favor and get to Rita’s. But don’t worry about rushing there, we probably have another 4 weeks of this hell. #toohotforpumpkinanything

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Recently (September 2014)

finishing my Alaska travel journal & organizing 500+ photos from the trip

rolling with the projects I’d like to work on for myself

going to the office a lot more now that I have a temp to help with things

becoming more fit with HIIT

watching The Leftovers

reading The Giver (first time since I was 12…? Was first published 20 years ago. Undecided if I want to read the other 3 books in the series)

remembering the importance of this date

quitting complaining about work. #notworthit

thinking about growing my hair a little longer

celebrating the fact that we have ~6 weekends in a row with no major plans

loving the new perspective I have post-Alaska

eating a lot more salads, and less food in general

dreaming of owning my own business

wearing dresses and gym clothes – the heat is getting to me

missing Autumn like woah – sweaters, darker days, crisp air and changing seasons

listening to a bunch of Paperclipping Roundtable episodes in a row (loved ep 216), Elise’s podcast & random Spotify playlists

planning our finances, sort of

working on embracing my inner hippy – full moon, tarot cards & spirit animals

trying to spend less money

wishing for clothing in mustard yellow & peacock teal… and cooler temperatures

feeling a bit more self-assured

obsessed with battling the flea problem – they must die!

Summer Nights, School Days

Evening roller-blade

Walking at 5am

Math I don’t understand

My view most nights this week

Besides it being post-vacation-blues week, it’s also back to school.

H started his 7th year of teaching. Each year I hope he’ll hit the easy groove that experienced teachers do, and then some huge opportunity/challenge presents itself. Two years ago it was a masters program. Last year it was being department chair, a masters program and 4 different classes. This year, masters program completed, it’s department chair and multivariable calculus, which happens to be the hardest class they teach.

Which he is reviewing every night, all night, after working a 12 hour day.

Which means that it’s just me and the Carter-man for long stretches of time.

I’ve learned that the shift from summer break, having H home all of the time, helping around the house and generally being there for me, to the first week of school, arguably one of the most stressful times of the year, can suck. I love my alone time, but having him around all day, everyday and then not at all puts a strain on our relationship.

Or, should I say, a strain on how I feel about our relationship.

Because in reality, we’re the same as we were last week (well, not entirely the same since last week was still Alaska). I’m just going about my day assuming it’ll be one way and it’s another, totally different yet OK, way…

Luckily, I’ve noticed this pattern, and I let things slide to compensate. So, dishes won’t get put away quickly or he won’t remember to do something (because he hasn’t had a moment to himself) or I have to take the dog on all 3 walks for the day. It’s not easy, but it’s not awful either.

It’s just life.

—–

Yesterday I was up at 5am to be on a 6hr video conference call. Apsht. Somehow I survived, and the early start time meant an early leave time.

Feeling completely burnt from the meeting, I settled on yoga, made green juice, and took the dog to the park to run around a very dry, very hot baseball field. I straightened up and vacuumed. I ate turkey chili cold from the Tupperware. I perused Instagram, cleaned up DropBox and worked on a small project taking photos of our possessions in case we ever have an insurance issue. I cooked zucchini and heated up left-over pizza. I went out with Carter again, this time on roller-blades.

I wrote this sitting across from H as he went through calc problems and muttered things like “oh shit, I found the area instead of the arc length” which may as well be German to me.

We kept the front door propped open so a breeze came through the apartment while it went from twilight to pitch dark outside in what seemed like an instant.

I couldn’t fall asleep the other night and stayed up past 1am.

Carter mopes around looking for H, patiently waiting for him to finish his work so they can play.

It’s a transient time of summer nights, school days, 5am alarms, evenings solo even though H is home, and hot weather. The last of it seems to throw me off the most. Autumn feels like the natural signal for us all to hunker down, do our work, spend more time indoors. We don’t get that here in Southern California, the season or the natural transition.

I miss it.

 

Recently

Finishing up work emails and projects before our vacation tomorrow.

Rolling with the lack of routine. And up and down energy. And weird heat + humidity.

Going to the beach path on Saturdays for a run while H takes Carter on a walk via longboard, then heading to a new coffee shop called Amelia’s.

Creating more Project Life spreads – so fun to spend weekend time printing photos & playing with paper.

Buying sorely needed gym clothes, running sneakers and hiking boots. Much of the clothing and the running shoes (above) are hot pink. Not my usual color but seems to be the cheaper option most times.

Becoming more in-tuned to my over-done strength of being good in a crisis. And saying no.

Watching Orange Is The New Black Season 2

Reading All The Light We Cannot See (finished), The Giver (for fun) and books about Alaska & the Iditarod.

Quitting devaluing my own projects / creativity for things that aren’t the work I’m meant to do in this world (that’s the goal, anyways – probably will be more of a transition than cold turkey).

Learning so much about inspiration & design from the Here & There class at Big Picture Classes.

Smelling the surprise of rain in LA this weekend.

Celebrating OH MY GOSH OUR ALASKA TRIP STARTS TOMORROW.

Loving having H home for summer break with time to talk and be together. And life coaching sessions with Heidi.

Working on our money goals with a financial planner. And co-working with Billye.

Eating healthier and a little less at times, trying to fuel my body with good things.

Drinking less alcohol (win) and enjoying coffee more and more lately. Like, a lot more.

Wearing my hair a bit too short. And new clothes / boots (see above).

Listening to H play video games, to the drizzle of rain outside, to Carter clickety-clacking around on the vinyl floors (he needs his nails cut).

Feeling TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP

Obsessed with AnnMarie’s blog (and baby watch) and Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska

Technicolor Climbing, New Hampshire-style

During my June work trip, I extended my stay to include a full day of rock climbing with my awesome coworker Arielle (read about the first time she took me outdoor climbing). She and her boyfriend, Eric, took me out to Pawtuckaway in New Hampshire where we took a leisurely hike in, climbed a few routes, and enjoyed the most gorgeous of New England summer day you could ever imagine.

Having lived in LA almost 8 years, I am blown away by the intense greenery of the east coast during summer. There is clearly no shortage of water there. Walking through the park, and coming up to the water in the first photo, it all looked like Technicolor. I couldn’t stop commenting on how green it all was.

Our climbs were good. Eric showed me how he sets a top rope anchor (something I have yet to learn). He is quite meticulous and really patient, so it was great to have him talk through his process. Also fun to watch him and Arielle climb – always enlightening to see how people approach a route.

We found this baby bird nest in the chimney climb. So tiny. We ate supermarket sandwiches and went through a bag of pretzels. We talked about work and climbing and life. It was just a delight to be outside in summery weather.

After we climbed for the day, they took me to a little coastal town (my fav!) called Portsmouth, NH where we ate at the Portsmouth Brewery. And then they took me to the ocean, because they rock.

Having climbed outdoors 3x now (one trip was Joshua Tree, which I have yet to blog) I am loving both the outdoor camping / camaraderie all-day feel and the intense competitiveness of the gym. Still feels so crazy I can add “rock climbing” to my list of hobbies.

 

 

 

 

Fake First Day of Summer

The longer I live in LA, the more I fucking love June.

H finishes up school, our friends who are teachers also have summer break, the days are longer, the sun wakes me up at 5:30am through the sliding glass door, the heat feels good in my bones, and I have more energy. So much more energy.

As we biked to Venice Beach yesterday, It reminded me of June 1st 2013. And all of June 2013 last year – when I felt like I finally surfaced from the fog that was the first half of the year, and started enjoying my life.

And I realize now as I write this that the act of taking these photos, of noticing my life, gives value to where I’m at, allowing myself to do what I want with these precious minutes I’m given each day. And it brings creative fulfillment, which brings me deep happiness with myself and my life. ~ 6.28.14

And this year, Astrobarry’s horoscope for Pisces:

Your monthly fresh-start provided by Wednesday’s new moon is even more of an internal one than usual, Pisces… meaning that I strongly encourage you to take a few moments mid-week to consciously reset your emotional barometer, silently identifying and tapping into the overall attitudinal sense you’d most like to feel throughout the lunar-cycle ahead, and then imprinting that intention onto your inner self-regulating process. With both Venus and Mercury moving into more explicitly extroverted zones of your solar-chart during the week ahead, you can expect your attentions to become more immediately impacted by the social goings-on, who you’re hanging with and what’s up with them—and, if you haven’t taken the advice I’m offering above, you could easily find yourself carried away on a wave of pleasant-enough chit-chat… which could inspire you to totally forget the very considerations that are most personally important for you to hold close to your heart, as part of your individual process at this time…”

That’s what is feels like – resetting my emotional barometer. How perfect is that? And that’s exactly how it feels – an emotional reboot. Yes.

So welcome, June – it’s so good to see you again.

Recently

finishing the crazy new floors project (blog post coming soon)

rolling with the punches, with my energy, with whatever comes up

going to the dog park and getting coffee on Saturday mornings with H

storing most all of my 17+ years of journals to make room for open space (and, hopefully, plants)

becoming a morning person again, with the sun blazing in at 6am

watching Sherlock and Drunk History

reading Island Beneath The Sea which I am enjoying even though it’s not superbly written

quitting How To Be Good by Nick Hornby – it just made me frustrated and cranky

smelling the deliciousness that is SoCal spring, especially at night. jasmine and honeysuckle blooming, cut grass, BBQ and clean, dry air.

celebrating H’s 30th birthday with friends

loving going out for happy hour to watch the hockey playoffs (see you next season Flyers)

eating out at restaurants a lot, and hoping to get back into home cooking soon

enjoying having a/c in my car again after years of it not working (and just in time for this heat wave, SoCal)

wearing jean shorts I made out of cutting the legs off an old pair of jeans (fist pump)

collecting blog ideas and pictures from the past 2 months of nut-so living

listening to podcasts like Elise Gets Crafty

working on putting my own creative work first

trying to bring some sense of order to our 2nd bedroom/office. now that the downstairs in almost done, the upstairs feels like a cyclone blew through

wishing for some alone time, preferably at a secluded cabin near the ocean

feeling so fucking thankful to be home with no traveling to be had for another 5+ weeks

obsessed with Charlie Worsham‘s record Rubberband. we saw him live at Stagecoach last weekend and he was, by far, one of the best performers. can’t wait to see where his career goes.


lifted this list from Elise Blaha Cripe’s January “Currently” list

Almost Silhouette

Taking a silhouette photo is on my Summer Manifesto and I have yet to take one. But tonight the light was so delicious, and our little walk was so relaxing, I thought it would be fun to try. Self-timer app + camera phone + sun setting = the above. Not exactly a silhouette but still a fun shot.

It actually sums up the two-some we are these days. With H back to school and my busy schedule, it really was freakin’ golden to have some quiet time alone this evening. I am so thankful for my four-legged companion.

On that note – I want to send love to Elizabeth of Squam. Her beloved dog Henry, whom I adored from afar via Instagram, left this world last weekend. Considering I didn’t know him (and don’t actually know her), her IG post of his failing health had me bursting into tears. It’s amazing how the internet makes the world so small. I thought this dog was the most beautiful, regal prince ever (he could be Carter’s dad, no?) and I really felt like one day I would get to meet him. Sadly, that won’t be happening. Hoping he’s with her in spirit.

Even on tough days like the past few, I relish the time I have with my little nugget – walking, cuddling, him following me around, waiting patiently for me in his crate, and how he’ll look up from a nap to check on where I’m moving around to in the apartment, then stretch his little toes, give a big old sigh, and fall back asleep.

 

day 20: taste (again)

 

Drinks with my coworkers. They are the best.

– – –

See all of my August Break 2013 posts here.

day 18: looking down

Sundays are for staying out until 3am and wolfing down a McDonald’s cheeseburger (pickles included) in the car ride home. Sleeping in until 11am and then lounging some more. Going through my friend’s photo albums, seeing her mom’s wedding photos from the 80s. Drinking two cups of chai latte and almost being convinced H and I need a Keurig. Eating fried eggs sandwiches outside on their back deck, which is so high off the ground, you feel like you’re in a tree house. Walking with friends and their super cute dog Meeka. Going out for chinese food, which included lots of leftovers and lots of driving. Watching the lush greenery of August wiz by in the car windows – and still pining for the fall season. And packing up my bags, leaving their house in the suburbs tomorrow for work in the city.

– – –

See all of my August Break 2013 posts here.