Spending Time with the Familiar

What a beautiful day.

I spent my day yesterday with an old friend, a very good friend, from high school. We decided to spend the day at a small amusement park that we frequented as kids; neither of us had been back in quite a few years. We rode a few rides together, discovered that we’re perhaps older and less flexible than we were as teenagers and spent a great deal of time talking and reminiscing. Our conversations bounced from remembering our mutual past, our individual childhoods, our present lives and hopes and hurts. It ranged in tone from mildly humorous and immature to incredibly deep and touching.

The familiar surroundings allowed us a sense of comfort and nostalgia. We shared ourselves with each other in the way that only old friends seem to be capable of doing. This communion came at a necessary time for both of us. It allowed each of us a chance to talk through things others in our lives might not fully understand. Our history together allows us that understanding.

It felt so good to spend this time with my dear friend. I drove home from our day together feeling alive, appreciated, and loved.

That is what friends are for.

Catching Up

Today is my first official day off for the summer! Yippee!

I’ve been looking forward to spending time reading and getting caught up on the many blogs, articles, and emails I’ve been saving over the past week or so. So many things to be interested in and so little time to check them all out. Not to mention my book TBR pile has grown exponentially over the past three months just waiting for summer break! I’m not concerned though. I’m going to savor every moment of my reading time since during the school year I feel that I get so little time to read for my own enjoyment. The truth of the matter is, I just need to start making more time.

Have a great day everyone! Go do something you enjoy!

I Believe in Webs

We all need someone who believes in us. Just one person, just one positive comment, or act of support can be all it takes. Humans are social creatures and as such our need for validation and belonging is intrinsic. When we face times of trouble or self-doubt, we need the ability to trust the web of connections that hold us in place, prop us up, and keep us moving forward. These people for me are friends, family, co-workers, my creative community, and even at times a few students.

Sometimes it is as simple as a smile first thing in the morning, a thoughtful message scribbled on a note card, a pat on the back or a hug when you most need it but refuse to admit it. These things strengthen us as individuals and as a society. The bonds we share are sometimes tentative and fragile, like butterfly wings, but they are bonds none-the-less. Other bonds have the tensile strength of spiders’ webs. No matter the nature of the bond, it is always beautiful to see them in action. Whether it be large or small, shining bright or slightly dusty and dull, remember that we’re all in need of our webs of connection.

So that being said, blessings to all, no matter how tentative or fragile our bond.

Today’s Chaos and Random Stuff

As I finally collapse into my chair for my lunch break at work I open my personal email to see 17 new emails. I click out of the window with a sigh. Too much chaos going on and today I just need a break. Today is one of those days I feel like I’m drowning and overwhelmed. I need to just recognize those thoughts and realize that they’re untrue. I am neither in deep water nor am I overwhelmed, in fact, I’ve made it through my morning so far with relatively few hairs yanked from my head and I am indeed still in one piece, so life can’t really be all that rough, right?

Yesterday, while hanging out at the library bookstore I picked up a book that so far excites me; I have high hopes for my summer journaling and so far this book looks like a wonderful guide,  A Life in Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal by Hannah Hinchman. I’m not even passable when it comes to drawing, but at the same time, the journal is for me – so who really cares what the pictures look like? If it brings me joy then I will draw and color and create in whatever manner I choose.

It’s evening now and my day is done. Relaxing at home and feeling thankful to have some peace and stillness. Today was a rough day, but tomorrow is another day. My kitty, Dexi Doodle Putty Tat, helps me to unwind and relax at the end of each day. He’s a great snuggle buddy. 🙂

dexi

Playing in the Kitchen

One of my favorite means of creative expression is playing around in the kitchen. I am far from a great cook and I’m not an excellent baker by any stretch, but I’m not afraid to make a mess and be creative in my endeavors. I don’t follow recipes; I might start out with one, but inevitably things get changed. Extra ingredients are thrown in while ones less pleasing to my palate are left out. I am at my most creative in the kitchen when it comes to baking. Banana bread has become an art form for me. Perhaps that sounds bizarre, but it’s fun to play around with a super simple recipe and my husband can’t get enough banana bread, so I’ve had to find ways to change things up a bit. His favorite is chocolate peanut butter banana bread. Mine is chocolate cinnamon banana bread.

Recently I discovered lavender. I was at our Central Market (large indoor farmers’ market) and one of the bread stands had fig and lavender muffins. I was curious so I bought one. It was love at first bite! I went back the next weekend and was disappointed to find that the did not have fig and lavender muffins again, but instead lemon lavender muffins. I like lemon so I figured I might as well try them too. Again, my taste buds were astonished. This weekend I went back looking for a new concoction of lavender and whatever, but much to my dismay they had no lavender muffins of  any kind. However, my favorite coffee stand did not disappoint! They had a lavender cupcake latte on their specials board, so I bellied up to the counter and said, “I’ll take one of those! Iced please.” The coffee no sooner touched my tongue and I was in love, so much so that I made a second run. Before leaving the market, I stopped by the spice and tea stand and bought myself an ounce of lavender. By the way, that doesn’t sound like much, but boy, oh boy, it is!

This evening I decided to play in the kitchen. I ended up making black raspberry lavender cupcakes. I wasn’t sure about the pairing, but I figured I’d use what I had and I had plenty of frozen black raspberries. They turned out delicious! FB_IMG_1433124923834 (1)

Like I said, I’m not a baking genius, I’m just not afraid to be creative and get it wrong once in a while. After all, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep” (Adams). What could have turned out to be a rather unpleasant tasting mistake turned out to be a true gem. This is one recipe I won’t soon forget.

Works Cited:

Adams, Scott. The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle’s-eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions. New York: HarperBusiness, 1996. Print.