Flowers in California

Flowers in California

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A List of Random Thoughts

I have some thoughts to share with you this evening.  I make no promise that they will enrich your life in any way.  With that disclaimer out of the way, please proceed.

1.  As I lay in bed the other night, reading, I saw a creature flying around up near the ceiling.  While its size appeared similar to that of a Canada Goose, its disposition seemed much more menacing.  It turned out to be a moth.  (I did not have my contact lenses in at the time.)  Now, as the days go by and I have to go to sleep each night not knowing where it might be and how evil its intentions are, I live with the dark threat of its presence.  I know that this situation may not end well for at least one of us.  I fear it may be me.

2.  I ventured away from my usual grocery store today and shopped elsewhere.  I was there at a busy time and the store is very big.  I got a sense that shopping there is a bit of a competitive sport.  Scraps of various fruits and vegetables littered the floor and it looked look quite a battle had been raging for a while.  Strangely, I liked it.  It was nice to feel some energy in the food shopping experience and I will return to that store.  After purchasing expired juice, moldy cheese and being charged way too much for a watermelon at my normal store, I'm ready for a change.  I'll try not to trip on the scattered produce and think things should go quite well.

3.  I remain astonished that Chunky Monkey ice cream is banana-flavoured.  I would never have guessed at the connection between monkeys and bananas that led to this name and thank my friend Patty for kindly pointing this out to me.  Who, other than Patty, knew?  As it turns out, I don't care for banana-flavoured ice cream and would only like it less if it  really lived up to its name and contained pieces of monkey (or any meat really).  Some items should never be brought together.  In my opinion, chicken and pizza also fall into this category.

4.  This morning (Saturday) at about 7:30, people starting using chainsaws at a house across the street. Whatever they were doing was over with quickly.  As this was my first day off since I left my Saturday job, I was somewhat disappointed by this morning ruckus.  It is legal to do this that early on a Saturday morning but it seems mean.  Perhaps what's most concerning about all of this is that no trees appear to have been altered or removed at that house.  I'm not sure I want to know for what purpose the chainsaws were used.

5.  I have reason to believe that people are sneaking into my house and stealing selected items of clothing.  I have many reasons to wonder why anyone would do that.  Moments ago, as I was putting clothes into the washing machine, I remembered a top that I hadn't seen for a while.  There is another top I had already declared to be lost.  These are not valuable items but I bought them because I wanted to wear them and that's difficult now.  Perhaps I will have to institute better inventory control methods.  It's sad when it comes to this inside one's home.

6.  After accepting and enjoying medium roast coffee at Starbucks a few times when the dark roast was not ready, I began to wonder if perhaps medium roast was my preference after all.  I ordered it the other day and it's true.  How could I not have known for so long?  Are there other choices in my life that I should question?  There are a variety of tomato colours out there - have I been wrong to stick to red all these years?  What about eggs?  And maybe I could have loved lop ear rabbits after all - I've stuck to ones whose ears are well-supported.  Apparently there are many things that need reconsideration now.

7.  Aside from the fact that I have long loved rabbits and I keep them as pets, I consider it an honour that a young jackrabbit (whom we've named Alonzo) feels comfortable spending a lot of his time outside our house.  While occasionally he gets alarmed and will scamper away when we are near, often he continues lying down as we come and go and talk to him.  He seems to know he's pretty safe here and last week even stayed still as three men in a furnace cleaning truck arrived out front.  I see neighbours of mine chase rabbits away - I value the comfort of a wild animal so much more highly than a perfect lawn.  I am glad Alonzo has us.

Those are my thoughts for this evening.  I sense that I will have a lot more to say in the coming days so, you know, you have been warned.

Happy Sunday night!


A Trip to the Bookstore - Gone Wrong

For me, going to a bookstore is a simple pleasure.  Sometimes I buy an item or two (or more); sometimes I come away with ideas for future purchases.  Occasionally I come away disappointed because I felt like discovering a tantalizing new book and couldn't make it happen.  While I fear for the future of bookstores and admit that I myself buy a lot of books online due to price differences I can't ignore, the stores are still here and still wonderful and I still love going to them.  Or, usually, I love going to them.

The pleasure of this evening's trip ended almost the minute I walked through the door.  A pleasant - no sweet, sweet makes it worse  - young woman greeted my husband and me.  Although I tend to be a bit of a lone wolf when shopping, I can appreciate the warmth of a friendly greeting.  But this woman was greeting us from behind her nicely arranged display of the book she was promoting, had written, and was probably really hoping we would buy.

While I responded to the greeting, I did not head over to the table.  Instead, I headed to the product section of the store.  My strategy was that she would then think I don't even like books and only came to bookstores to look at flowered cushions and odd teas.  Do people do that?  I then proceeded to sneak back through other sections of the store to the bestsellers at the front that I wanted to see.  (I also enjoy looking at magazines but under the circumstances, a move in that direction was too risky.)  We left the store through Starbucks.  It seemed to be for the best.  (Incidentally, I did get a coffee out of the deal.  It was good.)

Now, if my attitude seems cold and callous and surprising considering that I like to write too, I would argue that the actions I took were out of kindness.  If I did go up to table and the sweet woman told me many details about her book, it would be worse for me to reject the purchase at that point. Then, I would be rejecting something about which she is excited, something on which she has worked hard.  This way, I avoided an author's table; that is what I do.  The chance I would want to buy the book is small - there are many books - and I don't want to feel pressured to do so.  I did what I felt I had to do.

With me being me, I felt bad about what I did.  When I met up with my husband, we discussed the situation (a lot of the discussion was really me going on and on and him gently agreeing).  While the subtle nuances of it all did not affect his emotional wellbeing in the way it affected mine (they seldom do), he felt that the table need not have been that close to the entrance.  I think people should feel free to enter and browse in a bookstore without feeling obligated right away.

I bought no books or, for that matter, flowered cushions and odd teas this evening.  I might head to a bookstore again as early as tomorrow to make up for this failed trip (I have a coupon - it will expire!) and I hope that nothing as unpleasant happens on that visit.  I love books, I love their possibilities and I love being able to freely explore them.  I wish this author the best of luck with her new book and I applaud her for all the work that's gone into it and the courage it takes to sit there.  And yes, maybe I did a horrible thing.  But all I wanted to do was look at books.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learning from a Bowl of Sugar Snap Peas

I think I learned what it means to eat.

It all started after dinner this evening.  Feeling the need for more nutrition after a dinner of poor food choices, I put some sugar snap peas in a bowl and began eating.  I didn't eat many.  Something occurred as I ate though.

Sugar snap peas, while not an especially crunchy or difficult food to eat, require some more chewing effort than I, a lazy eater, sometimes wish to expend.  This evening as I chewed them, I began thinking - about food, about how it becomes our body, about its goodness and wow, I came to understand the role of food in our lives.  It is simple.  We eat - we must eat and it matters what we eat.

I don't know if I can adequately explain what I experienced.  Perhaps it was an example of mindfulness.  It was nice.  I hope that it was the beginning of a changed and more appreciative relationship to food.  I'm grateful that I can nurture my body with sugar snap peas.  I'm grateful to have had this experience.  I'll try not to devour a bowl of potato chips to celebrate.