Sunday, May 2, 2021

When It Comes To Swimming

After more than a year, went back to the swimming pool. Of course, things have changed. You have to reserve your time online, temperatures are taken and masks are to be worn until you get to your lane. Brought a plastic bag along with me so that I could put my mask in there. 

Joked with the 'Fugee that I didn't know if I'd still be able to swim but all went well. As I swam, so many things crossed my mind, including the time that I sprained my ankle but asked the doctor if I'd be able to swim. 

Thought about how my desire to learn how to swim was born out of being at the 'Fugee's pool and watching kids fearlessly jump into the deeper end and how I didn't know anyone with a pool up until then and also how the 'Fugee once told me, "I wasn't supposed to meet you" which made me think of Lisel Mueller's poem, Alive Together

Swam 20 laps and this woman in the locker room complimented me and it's so funny because I totally have imposter syndrome when it comes to swimming...

Didn't bother to take my bike to the shop because I was on it so little last year. Inflated the tires, hoisted it out of the basement and headed to the Riverfront Trail. Only, it's hard to get to the riverfront so I headed out Highway 70 which made me think of going to the airport for trips. 

Didn't ride for long but it was a gorgeous day and I enjoyed riding along the Mississippi River. 

Love this part of the trail. Is it anything special? Probably not. Maybe it's just how nature makes you feel.

I'm trying to grow Zinnias and probably should have just tried to plant the seed directly in the ground. This should be interesting. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Swarming Season

I was walking several days ago and this man told me that there was a swarm a bees around the corner and that he'd never seen anything like it. Same.

Not sure what I was expecting but there were about 200 or more bees and I was thinking about the problem that the homeowners had on their hands because the bees were right about the walk to the house.

When I went back later, the bees were gone. 

Mentioned it to a friend who took "overflow" bees from her dad and she said, "It's swarming season; hope they like their new home."

How is it that I've never seen a swarm of bees before? I also saw a goldfinch in my yard for the first time...

Went to my aunt's, along with my mother, to finish watching the National Geographic Series, Genius:Aretha. 

My aunt sang along until they got to the more modern Aretha songs like "Sister Are Doin' It For Themselves" and I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" and she was like "I don't know that one..." and I totally knew them but never thought much, at the time, how artist fight to stay relevant.

Walked in the park and spotted a woodpecker. Also enjoyed the tulips in the park and wanted to see them before the next set of flowers appear. 

And I am still enjoying my tulips. There are still a few more that are about to bloom. 

And now I feel brave enough to try to plant zinnias -- fingers-crossed. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Due Process

In the Fall, decided to do an outdoor singing bowl event but I had some ambivalence about it and didn't advertise as I should have. My friend, Ramona, said that she would help me so we were out in the park yesterday. 

Ramona suggested that I dress up and I told her a story about how Anita Baker said that she wished that when she'd first started out that she had dressed like Tracy Chapman. "Ramona," I said, “I'm Tracy Chapman."

Don't like to dress up but I did put on a cute t-shirt. Don't care for staged photos etc. etc.

At any rate, I played singing bowls and Ramona set up her camera and, at one point, she laid down on the grass and I wanted to take a picture but I was being filmed. Ha, the tables, er, camera had been turned on me.

Afterward Ramona told me how nice it was to listen to the singing bowls along with the birds -- not so nice were the emergency vehicles and dogs jockeying for position. 

And speaking of emergency vehicles, make it make sense. 

Stopper over an f'n air freshener; that's so predatory.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Other People's Tulips

Other people's tulips are blooming.

Had to remind myself that I put the bulbs in the ground a bit late. There are at least three flowering stems so maybe I can develop a green thumb after all. 

Went over to my aunt's for dinner yesterday and a doctor that she used to work with called and told her that another one of their colleagues had died. My aunt kept saying, "Aw, man." She had passed by the woman's house a few days ago and it had been on my aunt's mind to call her. My aunt said that she should have followed her instincts.

Following my instincts is a lesson that I must learn over and over again. I was helping my mother clean her room and came across a baby picture of one of my nephews and I was going to text it to him and then changed my mind. A couple of days later, he texted me to ask if I'd send some baby pictures of him because his wife wanted to make a collage...

Talked to a customer at work and told him that we'd have to arrange a time to meet at the front door because we have a maximum number of days that we are able to be in the office and the customer said that he had yet to return to the office and, from talking to others, very few want "normal" again. 

Before my aunt got news about her colleague, she did make me chuckle. Said that she had been wearing COVID clothes so much that she was barely able to fit into her church clothes.

Thursday, March 25, 2021


When the year was still fresh, I read Why We Can't WaitThe Choice and I got about 150 pages into Caste before it was due back at the library. A lot of people are waiting on the book and it actually was for the good because all three of the books are heavy. 

Took a break to read Driving While Hungry. One thing that I've learned is that I don't care for e-readers. Years ago, I read a few books on them but it just drives me bonkers now. 

I am so restless and sad right now. 

I posted this tweet to my Instagram stories and a friend responded and I said it's still hard to believe how Chauvin executed Floyd and she commented -- with people recording and telling him to stop

Last month I was having a horrible day and walked my mother's dog, Jazz, which is pretty much my dog and this woman started walking towards me and Jazz started barking immediately which is normal for him and I thought that it would stop the woman in her tracks. Instead, she handed me a gold gift bag -- said that her daughter was having a baby. She told Jazz, "It's okay; it's okay" and it felt like she was talking to me too. 

Had to have part of a pipe replaced in the basement. The bathtub drain had been getting progressively slower. The plumber that I used before wasn't returning my calls so the guy who did my aunt's bathroom ages ago and whose wife went to nursing school with my mother did the job. 

He carried his tools back to his truck and I was surprised that it was taking him a bit but he had been looking for screws and offered to secure the screen door on the side of the house. I could have wept. Thought that I was going to have to get it replaced and I had just pushed it up as close as possible for winter because I couldn't deal with one more thing...

It's amazing how sad you can be and then something little delights. When I spotted green leaves emerging from the ground, it made me happy because I thought that maybe I had planted the tulip bulbs too deep... 

Months ago, I took a couple of PTO days and needed to make sure that this contractor had gotten an assignment and would be able to deliver it because almost every call you get when trying to leave the office for a few days is urgent. 

Ended up having a nice conversation with her. She talked about growing up in a communist country and how the feel of a communist country is different. I also got to speak to her toddler who is so sweet...

And this country feels brutally different but the sad part's not. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Hot Potatoes

Instead of being bummed out about not being able to travel home for Thanksgiving, one of my friends sat down and wrote a list of people that she was grateful for. She wrote that it helped to listen to Natalie Merchant's Kind and Generous while writing such a list.

I'd never heard of Merchant so went to check out the song and it's beautiful. The timing of seeing this friend's social media message was interesting because I have profound gratitude for a gift that she gave me and I have the urge to thank her again...and again and I wondered if there was such a thing as over-thanking... 

Being the primary caregiver for someone is a very lonely experience -- even when you have people that provide relief along the way. 

On a recent walk, I listened to the This Species Moment  episode of On Being and it made me feel less alone in that moment:

Even when we’re by ourselves spatially, like sitting in a room, our thoughts are filled with others; our bodies are even potentially carrying the skin cells of others and a variety of other things...

One of my paternal aunts took care of four really sick people in her lifetime and I'm not sure how she pulled it off...

Sunday didn't go as planned so I wasn't sure what would be for lunch at the beginning of the week. Don't think that I even had oatmeal which I will sometimes eat for lunch. Walked up to my porch and saw a package at the door. As I looked through the bag of snacks and croissant toast (never heard of it), I picked up a foil package and it was a hot potato and I almost wept. The package was from my timely and thoughtful neighbor. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Something Wild

Recently had a split on my bottom lip. The last time that I had an issue with my lip was many years ago when I had a reaction to a certain seafood. The first hole in my ear was inflamed. I've had bumps on my cheekbone, biceps tendonitis (maybe) and tight rhomboids. Plus, I did too many hip openers during yoga and that left me barely able to walk.

Had so much going on that I pulled out The Body Keeps The Score which I read during yoga teacher training. All in all, I should be grateful for all of the times when my body is not keeping the score...

I often admire the tulips at a local park and at the botanical garden and decided to do something wild like ordering tulip bulbs. Thank goodness for YouTube. I was going to try to dig the designated area with a trowel but went with a shovel after watching a few how-to videos. 

It was so gratifying digging my little area and when I saw a few wriggling worms, it made me think of how my grandmother would dig for fishing worms. 

Speaking of my grandmother, my aunt shared a picture that one of my cousins forwarded to her of my grandmother and another cousin. In the picture, my cousin's face is so soft and it made me think of how much my grandmother loved him and also how much my grandmother loved me and how much I miss her. 

Wore a "Day of the Dead' mask to work and a co-worker who speaks mostly Spanish showed me a picture of an altar that she'd made for her husband. The altar was beautiful and I'm considering doing something similar next year. I'm not one for visiting a cemetery but this seems like an appropriate way to honor the dead. Thank you Gingerzingi for making this mask for me.