Daily Journey Journal #274: blue night

From February 25, 2015

Everything is blue: the snow, the street, my breath coming out in puffs, the exhaust coming out of the few cars still out. Even the night air is blue, frozen and suspended in time. It feels like a scene painted onto canvas in heavy strokes.

Snow crunches beneath my boots. It is the only sound after the cars have turned off the main street and it cracks the air with gentle whips. My legs are numb and the muscles in my face are stiff, but it is calming to walk through the all but deserted streets. My body propels itself forward, towards home, and my mind wanders, escaping the immediacy of winter.

The footprints along the sidewalk begin to thin until it is just one set and the ones I leave behind me. Snowflakes drift on quiet wind currents. They land with the briefest of touches on my face, hovering just on the surface of my skin. They do not melt, my face and the night too cold for such heat.

The trail I’ve been following vanishes into the street and then it is just my footprints on the sidewalk. The prints are left perfectly intact for a moment before the falling snowflakes begin to settled in. And then the night swoops in, filling them with the blue that fills the streets, the air, the snow on the ground; with the blue that will surround me until I enter the warmth of home.

Daily Journey Journal #273: printer possession

From February 24, 2015

Sometimes I think the printer in my office might be possessed by demons. Most of the time it sits, a great hulking beast of a thing, in the corner, quiet and content. And then, it is as if it decides things are simply too quiet and peaceful. There I am, working away, not needing or touching the printer at all and it feels the need to project itself into my awareness with a resounding rumble.  Soon it is snorting and snarling, whirling its gears, jostling the trays and lurching the internal mechanisms all about with much grinding and groaning. It lets out a roaring jitter, as if it is trying to tear something (like itself) into shreds and rumbles, vibrating the desk. Then, as suddenly as it started, it quiets down and falls back into slumber mode.

When I first started in the office, the printer worked just fine, but the demons have decided that I’m an old hand and can handle their weirdness. Now, on the occasions when I do need to print, the possessing demons seem to play eenie-meenie-miney-mo to decide which course the printer will take: loose the print job in translation, freeze, paper jams, conjure imaginary ink shortages, memory failure, or maybe, just maybe, print. Half the time, the print option wins, so I’m assuming the demons still feel bad for me being a relative newbie, but I’m sure that will wear off in due time. In the meantime, I’ve got to decide the best way to woo said demons so that the printer continues to simply growl and moan rather than self-destruct.

Hmmm…Cookies maybe?

Daily Journey Journal #272: dinner for two

sundoor

From February 23, 2015

In the north, sunshine is a big deal. At least, it is to most people, especially in the winter when the sun’s ray are so angled they sometimes seem to vanish before reaching our eager faces. The sun is particularly important for me because without it I start to sink into the gloom. Seasonal depression is a real thing for many people and sunshine helps to keep it at bay.

Knowing this about myself, when we started looking for places to rent, I had my eye out for windows and a place that didn’t face north. Something southern or eastern facing would be best. We got lucky when we came to see this house. It was perfect- faces east, surrounded by other one-story houses and has great windows in every room.

When I wake up in the morning now, daylight is usually only moments away. By the time I shower and am ready for breakfast, beautiful sunlight fills the living room and I can see pink and orange clouds  over the eastern mountains. It is the perfect start to a day.

In the evenings, the sun comes through the sliding glass door into our kitchen. It fills the room with warmth and brightness and tonight that is how I found myself having dinner sitting atop the dryer, looking out the glass door. A was at work, and as I needed to eat before class, dinner had to be solo. The light coming in the door, however, was so enticing, it seemed the perfect dinner time companion. And so, we settled into the kitchen, watching the sky above the western mountains turn colors and shadows begin to creep across the backyard.

Daily Journey Journal #271: caught up

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The last five or so weeks have been a blur of activity. But, per my lessons learned and self promises, I haven’t been letting the little things stress me out. Sure, I’ve had a number of little projects sitting on the back burner, some hopes and wants left hanging on the line and a few maybes blowing in the breeze, but there were other things that stole my focus: ski instructing, art show, dance classes. All of these brought a lot of happiness to my life and it was worth it to fill my free hours with them.

By the end of this week, however, I was starting to feel a bit like I was burning the candle at both ends and perhaps a bit in the middle too. Fortunately, as fate would have it, this weekend was completely free. Ski classes were cancelled due to the cold temperature, which meant two whole days of time with no demands on the hours. How exciting is that?!

So, what to do? I asked, but what a silly question. With yawns becoming part of my breathing pattern the answer was pretty evident:

SLEEP!

Catching up on some hours of solid slumber was much needed and will hopefully have me ready for the coming week. Once I managed to pull myself from the depths of the blanket pile on our bed I enjoyed slow cups of coffee and tea, finished reading a novel and started a new one, went running, puttered around the house, studied Spanish, tidied the house, put together a collection of graphic design scraps that I find fascinating, finished a project for graphic design class, worked on a photo project, read some more and took a nap. Now, here it is Sunday night and I’m happy to say, I am fully caught up on all the little projects, have met my hopes and wishes, and turned the maybes into yeses. It feels good the end the week on a successful note with nothing waiting for an open hour.

With that, I’ll bid you all a lovely evening! I hope your coming week is full of successes and positives, that you feel empowered in your day-to-day life and that you can do something that will bring you joy.

Daily Journey Journal #269: it’s all in the process

A is not a very particular person when it comes to most things, but there are a few things about which he is especially particular and hot cocoa is one of them. For A, hot cocoa needs to be like drinking liquified hot cocoa powder. Every molecule of water must be infused with cocoa and to achieve this perfection there is a very specific process, which I learned tonight.

First, boil the water. Then, fill a cup with hot cocoa powder so that it covers half of the scoop part of a spoon when the spoon is stood upright in the cup. Once the water has boiled, add barely more than enough to cover the power. Stir vigorously to mix and start working out the clumps. Add a little more water, but don’t fill the cup or it will overflow with all the vigorous stirring. Stir until the clumps are completely gone, then either fill the remainder of the cup with water for sipping the chocolatey beverage, or with milk to cool it off enough to virtually chug it. And voila, A’s perfect cup of cocoa.

As of tonight, I can now say I’ve mastered the art of A’s cocoa process. Woot!

Daily Journey Journal #268: thief in the dryer

From February 19, 2015

People say that a person’s clothes and appearance often tell a lot about them. Sometimes, I think this is spot on. My graphic design instructor, for instance, is a pretty chill, quirky person. He has tattoos up his arms, a bright red beard and is prone to wearing layers of hoodies and flannel shirts. To me, his appearance says so much about his philosophy for class and design: be yourself.

Now, I normally don’t pay that much attention to what other people are wearing, but our instructor’s dress is so unusual compared to so many other instructors that it just sort of sticks out to me. And, today it added much amusement to our class.

Thursday morning can be a bit of a downer in our morning class. Everyone seems a bit out of it and is already looking forward to the weekend. Our instructor, however, was quite lively on this particular morning. He came to class ready for action and wearing what seemed to be an old Boy Scout shirt, complete with sewn on badges and patches. This didn’t seem odd to anyone, but I noticed what appeared to be a brownish-pink badge dangling from the inside of one of his sleeves, as if it had been sewn onto the inside of the shirt. It seemed odd and a bit uncomfortable to me, but I thought, quirky patches go with quirky shirts, no?

A few minutes later, however, the dangling badge caught the attention of another student. The instructor happened to he standing behind her and as she was sitting at a desk chair, she was at just the right angle to catch a glimpse at the dangling badge.

“Is that a sock?!”

Sure enough, it was a pinkish sock from the instructor’s five-year-old daughter. He simply pulled the sock out of his sleeve, pocketed it and said, “Looks like I need better fabric softener.” Then, he carried on with class, nothing out of the ordinary having occurred.

Except that our hum-drum morning was now infinitely better, humor having pulled us from our stupors.