Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Not So Crazy Days Of Summer

We're into summer now.  The days have been long and hot.  The past two days I've tried to stave off turning on the A/C, but I've only been able to make it until noon.  Today it was even earlier - 10:00am. Too bad I have to work - I'd love to go sit by the pool, or grab a friend and head down to the beach.  But duty calls, the work hours are starting to pick up, and I need to make hay while the sun shines.

When the sun is a little lower in the sky, and the afternoon cools a little bit, I'll go outside and give all of the thirsty, hot plants a nice drink and a heavy misting.

Something to effectively tuck them in, and send them off to a cozy moist evening before the sun blisters them again tomorrow. 
And then there's this lovely - a gift from an Easter dinner guest 3 months ago!  It's still going strong, and I take extra special care of it because it cheers me up every time I walk into the living room.

When the days are like this, and there are no trips planned to break up the schedule, the days all kind of run together.  Work, work, work, work, work, house chores and some fun, church and a peaceful day.  Rinse and repeat.  My days are probably a little more monotonous because I work from home.  I can go literally weeks without filling up my car with gas.  (I kind of like that part, though.)  I am the neighborhood watch, the neighborhood crazy Mrs. Kravitz sitting in my office window, watching everyone come and go.  L laughs at me because I know everyone's business.  For excitement I might do a load of wash, or I may even start the car and go to the bank or grocery store.
When the work is done for the day, I have various little projects to work on.  Currently I'm circling a pillow cover, wanting to paint a starfish on the cotton fabric.  Once I start it I'll be fine, but until then, I think and redesign, and over think the whole thing.  I usually dream about it, to make matters worse.  It's been years since I've painted on fabric, so I'm a little nervous to start.  But I have so many ideas for things I'd like to try after this project, so I just need to close my eyes and jump in.
Sometimes I'll watch Ellen at 4:00 (especially if Sophia Grace and Rosie are on!) and then it's time to start dinner.  That's the usual day.  So when L drives in after his workday, I have to be careful to control my approach, I'm so excited to have another human to interact with.  He, on the other hand, drives 39 miles each way to work.  He drives in really bad traffic.  He is soothed with XM radio on the way home, but it's a very long commute - at best 1 hour and sometimes it's over 2 hours.  And this week he's been on deadline with his magazine.  Ramp up the stress 100%!  Editors have a hard time meeting deadlines, and they tend to dump everything on him at the last minute.  (He is a graphic artist and lays out the magazine, making sure it all looks good and everything is coordinated.)  He's at the end of the food chain there, so if things are late, he's the person everyone complains to, even if it's not his fault!  Sorry.... I'm venting...  Anyway, last night, he came home, and I was a little grumpy because he was later than usual, dinner was a multi-step affair, and I was afraid it would all get cold before he got there.  I could tell at first glance, however, that he'd had a bear of a day.  So I quietly got dinner on, we got seated, and I let him decompress without pressing him to talk a lot.  TV off.  Just a quiet dinner, with occasional conversation interspersed with soothing quiet.

After dinner we cleaned up and got the bikes out.  The evening was still warm, but with a cool breeze blowing.  We rode through some nearby neighborhoods as darkness gradually fell.  Neighbors were out watering, letting children have a last ride on their bikes and scooters, or just sitting outside enjoying the cool(er) air.

We rode along, not talking much.  L tried to lead me back on the cul de sac where the big dog chased me down the street the other night, but I wasn't buying.  I'm not fond of being chased by big dogs.  But mostly, I just followed along, letting him have his thoughts to himself.  Our bike lights were on blink mode in the twilight - both of us have small red ones in back, and I have a larger white one in front - and as we rode along, I followed behind him with my lights blinking like little heartbeats in the growing darkness.
As we finished up our ride, I could see that L's shoulders had relaxed.  I love our evening bicycle rendez-vous.  They are my current obsession.  Sometimes we ride side by side and chat about our days, and other times (like last night) we pedal along silently to our own thoughts.  It's the perfect end to the day.  Just enough to feel better after eating dinner, but soothing enough to bring us back home ready to settle in for the evening.  Best of all, after a little quiet time, L is ready to sit back and let me chat his ear off after a long day in solitary confinement.  It's a win/win.


  1. Hello, karen! I take my hat off to your husband. I know what it's like to work under a deadline and to be at the mercy of others who procrastinate. As a television news producer I was required to adhere to an exact, down to the second deadline at least once a day. I relied on a team of field reporters, assistant producers and anchors to get their pre-produced segments finished and submitted to me in a timely manner so that I could assemble the elements, block and time the newscast. Invariably one or two disorganized members of the team got their work to me late, turning up the pressure to the max. Luckily I only had a short drive home from the station. Your husband faces a long stressful commute and that's another reason why I salute him. Those bikes rides you take together seem to be the tonic that helps both of you in a variety of ways. I'm glad you found a healthy activity that you both enjoy. Happy Wednesday to you, dear friend karen!

  2. How lovely your evening sounds! A commute sometimes over two hours? That's the number of miles I drive, but it only takes me about 25 minutes. I will never complain again!

  3. How you described your bike ride makes it sound absolutely delightful!
    I used to work from home one day a week and yes, I was the Mrs Kravitz as well. *shrugs shoulders* someone has to do it.

  4. I love all the pretty pictures. And that was very fun to read. You are a great writer. May I ask what magazine he works on?

  5. What a soothing post ... you're a wise woman knowing when to just give your hubby some space and let him be with his thoughts knowing you are his safe place and refuge. Till he's ready to give you what you need as well!

  6. Your are the Yoda of wives..very wise you are! It sounds so fun to ride bikes around town. I would be killed out here on our country roads! I envy you working from home. I always thought that would be ideal. I'm in the wrong profession..somehow taking out a gallbladder on my kitchen table just doesn't sit right with me. My Sister works from home now and she loves it but now she doesn't blog because she's at a computer all day just wants to turn it off at 5! I love the fact that L works for a magazine..I'm a magazine aholic, just thought you should know. (no, I refuse to do any 12 step programs!)

  7. "like little heartbeats in the growing darkness." Love that line, so descriptive...Riding bikes is such a healthy thing to do both for the body and the mind. I used to ride my bike a lot, until we moved here and I had a couple of close calls with car in our neighborhood. I'm home in the daytime too, but I'm not a good one to keep watch on things as I'm not very observative.

  8. It IS a soothing post! I love your flowers. They seem so happy. I can't believe you can go WEEKS without filling up for gas. I feel like i live in my car. With work and 4 babies I never seem to stop. I'd love to paint fabric. You should post a pic when you're done!

    Ps I'm not fond of being chased by big dogs either! :)


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