loveliness all around

Street5I’ve started taking new routes to work in the mornings. As I am directionally challenged, I depend on my trusty phone with its magical mapping apps to show me the quickest, if not the shortest course while taking the horrendous rush hour traffic into account. My favorite route is almost double the mileage of the shortest (but most congested) way, but its faster and a million times more beautiful. I actually have to be careful to not get distracted by the scenery and gorgeous homes. There’s this one particular “neighborhood” that I’m going to stop and take a picture of one day, once the fall leaves show up. Some might say it looks very upper class Stepford, but I say its stunning. Beautiful homes nestled in the hills; all very idyllic and picturesque.

I’d have to be blind (and not driving a car in that case), not to notice the fantastic views, but I think I’m more attuned to them after reading an article I ran across in my meditation research (another post perhaps) that suggested some ideas on how to have a more “mindful” commute. Its a quick read that has stuck with me and that I’m finding useful. Being mindful of your surroundings, focusing on breathing etc, really noticing things, and trying not to stress about when you’ll get to your destination since that is mostly out of your control. That’s the gist anyway.

Street2Speaking of beautiful things, I was reminiscing about Paris today. I miss it. I realized that I never shared any photos so I think I’ll start posting a few here and there, just to keep it interesting. I’ve included a couple of street scenes here. I love the architecture, among so many other things about that city.

As the famous person “Author Unknown” said…

Close your eyes and see the beauty.

unsure

cool dudeRandom…Here’s a photo I took of a llama…Or an alpaca…Some sort of camelid anyway. I think he/she is pretty cool…yep, so very random.

This blog y’all…I neglect it for long periods of time because I get confused about what to do with it…what I want it to be…how I want to frame things here. And then I think too much, get overwhelmed and ignore it. Because crazy person.

But I’m popping in tonight for what its worth. Here’s a mini update on the life of Finn…so many things…deep breath and here we go…I bailed on the 1/2 marathon for a few reasons…I have however, been conned into doing a 5k in a few weeks with the sis-in-law who is WAY out of my league but it will be fun anyway…I have recovered from Paris and am ready to go on another trip as long as it doesn’t involve Delta airlines…As a matter of fact, I have a trip to Orlando planned for February (on Southwest, thank you very much)…Not a city that I’ve ever wanted to go to but this is a freebie and I’ll be accompanying my mom on her first flight so I imagine it will be an adventure….no, we are not going to Disney…I’ve been at the “new” job for 7+ months now and am finding it to be challenging…interpret that as you will…Kiddo is doing great and is one of the brightest lights in my life…I will never say she is “my world” because that is a huge pet peeve of mine when mom’s say that…what? you don’t have any other identity or life outside of motherhood?…to each her own…The Accountant is good…working his tail off as usual and keeping me off the ledge as best he can, poor guy…I still engage in desperate battles to keep the depression at bay and I still suck at making the bed in the mornings and keeping up with the laundry…we are getting a swimming pool and construction begins in January…I do not know how to swim but I expect our popularity within the neighborhood to increase exponentially…I made the absolute worst batch of guacamole the other day and I think it is still sitting all forlorn in the fridge…I should probably throw it out at some point…the hamster is still alive and keeping me awake at night until I get up and move her into a far flung corner of the house and shut the door…I am getting another tattoo at some point…I have the itch for new ink…I remain the biggest fan of the ellipsis…

Goodnight.

pain in the neck

CaptureWhew, life y’all. Sometimes it gives me whiplash.

And I think I made that analogy because I have had the worst crick in my neck for two days now. The kind where your muscles are all tense and it gives you a headache and you wince when you turn your head so you basically walk around like a penguin and turn with your whole body.

That.

books. poetry.

CaptureI’m reading the best book. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. The Jazz Age, F. Scott, New York City, great writing…what’s not to love? I think I’m going to give The Paris Wife a go next.

I gave up on Winter’s Tale because it was boring me to death. I know many people who cannot bear to finish a book once they’ve started it, no matter how much they dislike it. I am not one of those people. Life is too short to do things you hate; I feel the same way about reading books. There are too many books out there and not enough life time to read them all. I’m not wasting my time on ones I don’t like. You have 25% of a book to get me interested and decide whether or not to keep reading. I think that’s a generous effort on my part but if I’m not into it by then, back on the shelf you go.

I’m starting an online course in Modern Poetry in a couple of weeks and am pretty excited about it. This site, Coursera, is really great. There are courses on all kinds of topics and they are all free, completely legit, and taught by professors and professionals from universities and organizations all over the world. My workplace has courses on it, which is how I learned about it. Its a fabulous resource for those of us with a little bit (or a lot) of ADD in life who want to learn more about lots of things and expand the ol’ bean. I’m a fan.

Happy reading!

reentry

walkingWe’re back from Paris and wow, what an adventure, learning experience, stress-filled, magical, amazing, and frustrating time it was. I definitely consider myself a more seasoned traveler after this trip! I’ll post more about it all later including some of my favorite photos.

My love for the city remains firmly intact and even deeper than before. As this was our second trip there, the newness was gone and it was nice to feel somewhat more connected to our surroundings, if that makes any sense. For instance, we were much more comfortable communicating with people and dealing with the language issues. The concern of getting lost was mostly non-existent; we took the metro everywhere and covered so much territory using public transportation that it made getting back into a car once we got home seem really strange. Sure, it still felt like we had a big “‘Murica” stamped on our foreheads but it was much easier to feel at ease and as if we could actually integrate and fit in with the flow of the city, given enough time.

Kiddo did great staying home with my mom but the little one missed us a ton and vice versa. She and I were attached at the hip more than usual today and you better believe that I enjoyed every cuddle. I have one more day off tomorrow, albeit a very busy one, before heading back to the day job on Tuesday.

So, sleepy time for me. Bonne nuit!

itinerary for the next week

Its been a long wait to return to La Ville-Lumière but it is finally here and The Accountant and I leave tomorrow evening! This trip is in celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary earlier in the summer, and is the perfect excuse to return to Paris (not that you need an excuse). We’ll leave Nashville on Friday (tomorrow) and arrive in Paris on Saturday afternoon, which will be like experiencing a bizarre time-warp. We will have some time to defeat jet lag and get settled in before joining up with a small group of fellow travelers on Sunday.

Our plans are as such…

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8/3/14 early morning snippets

  • It is no wonder hamsters sleep all day and only live a couple of years…they run ALL NIGHT in that swirly wheel thing…they have to be exhausted.
  • School supply shopping at the almost last minute and on tax-free weekend? I don’t recommend it.
  • I really need to be more organized. But its just not me.
  • Skittles leave an icky aftertaste in mah mouth.
  • Your independence. Embrace it. I love mine.
  • Tomorrow we overhaul the kid’s room. Goodwill better be ready. Purge time.
  • I’m having fun experimenting with makeup lately. That’s so random. Even for a bullet list.
  • My hair is the longest its been in years and I love it.
  • I’m taking an online course in modern poetry starting in September.
  • I cannot get through Winter’s Tale. Total snooze fest.
  • I’m cooking breakfast in the morning.