Her Beans and My Heart โ™ฅ

Posted on December 17, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy |

Roasted Sesame Green Beans

Last month, I participated in that American Institution known as “Thanksgiving Day”. For the past couple of years I had attended a potluck dinner, and was assigned to bring vegetables. Although green beans are traditional for this meal, I wanted something different, and consulted my favorite food blogger, whom I’d known for about a year at the time. “Sesame Green Beans” were the result of this consultation, and were the hit of the party two years running.

This year, through a series of events, I was called upon to provide the entire Thanksgiving meal, although for a smaller number of people. I again cooked the green beans, but this year, it was a different experience. The beans were excellent, as always, but I was not able to report that fact to the dear friend who had provided the recipe.

You see, I only knew her through her blog, and through the many emails we’d exchanged over the three years we knew each other. Last year, soon after I reported my latest bean success; I read what was apparently to be her last blog post. She wished her readers a happy Christmas, declared she’d be back in the new year…and was not heard from again.

Most of you know that bloggers come and go. It is a strange medium in some ways; if a person wishes to be anonymous, s/he can usually do so. Casual, hobbiest bloggers don’t owe anyone a thing. They can start to write, gather a following, and decide to stop at any time.

What has amazed me about a couple of the social media outlets I’ve been involved with, is that, over the course of spewing my thoughts, I have made genuine, lasting friendships. I counted this food-blogger among them. She wrote about more than food, but that was her passion, on this particular blog. I’m not much of a cook; never was, but she was easy to talk to about all sorts of things. She was kind to me; commenting on my blog often, and sending me emails when she came across something she knew I’d like.

We started to share more about personal situations. She was a very private person, as am I, so I was honored by her trust.

She doesn’t owe me anything; never did…but…it seems odd to me that after three years of several-times-a month communication, it would cease—for me, and with all who knew her from her blog.

Perhaps she thought she would come back, and somehow, didn’t have the heart for it. Perhaps she didn’t want to write a “goodbye” post, because she felt she’d come back in a bit, and then what would she say?

Some of us who were her friends thought she might have become too ill to post, and we tried to find out more. It appears she is still with us, from the latest reports.

Somewhere along the way, however, I’ve realized that I have been guilty of some of the same behaviors of which I accuse my food-friend. I have not updated my blog very often lately. I’m not entirely sure why, although I have a few good ideas. I tell myself it’s something I can do “tomorrow”, and we all know there is no tomorrow.

I tell myself that I at least answer emails from concerned friends, unlike food-friend who has not. But I haven’t even done that as quickly as I’d like to these days. And there are non-blog friends, and even family members who have not heard from me as much lately.

I’ve gotten some lovely messages from blog friends wondering where I have been! I am humbled; I’m chagrined. A couple inquiries I’ve gotten truly have made me realize how much I was preoccupied with my own issues.

One was from a someone whose mother recently passed away. He is young to lose a parent. And yet, in the midst of his grieving, he took the time to inquire how I was, as I had not been on this blog for a while. It shames me to know this, not in a self-deprecating way, but in a self-involved kind of way.

To hep me plead my case, I will say that I’ve spent some time helping a dear friend who has been ill, and attempting to mend fences with family members, particularly one who may not be long for this world. But it doesn’t compensate for neglecting to notice what others have been dealing with. It doesn’t excuse lack of compassion.

I am hard on myself, as we often are. Noticing is an education. Taking action on what one notices becomes the harvest of our being. I am reminded that whenever I am feeling judgemental about someone’s actions, I’d best look within to see if there is some version of those things operating in my experience, and then, with great understanding, forgive us both!

To all those, blogging or not, who have touched my life, I thank you for being my life tutors. Blessings be.

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The other way

Posted on November 23, 2010. Filed under: Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

This speaks to me as my life has unfolded lately:

No Other Way
by Martha Smock

Could we but see the pattern of our days,
We should discern how devious were the ways
By which we came to this, the present time,
This place in life; and we should see the climb
Our soul has made up through the years.

We should forget the hurts, the wanderings, the fears,
The wastelands of our life, and know
That we could come no other way or grow
Into our good without these steps our feet
Found hard to take, our faith found hard to meet.

The road of life winds on, and we like travelers go
From turn to turn until we come to know
The truth that life is endless and that we
Forever are inhabitants of all eternity.

So many times I’ve said to myself “why can’t this have happened sooner?; why did it have to happen at all?; if I knew then what I knew now; …etc. etc. etc.

The fact is, even if I knew then what I know now, then would have been a different then, and now a different now. I would not be the person that says: “if only…”. The words you read here would be those of someone else!

I’m not sure why, but this, strangely, gives me comfort.

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Random Confessions

Posted on September 22, 2010. Filed under: Culture, EFT, Games, Health, HowTo, Music, Musings, Philosophy |

This is a time of year I often evaluate aspects of my life. Some do it at Gregorian New Year; others in the Spring…to me, the fall is the best time, the time of the Autumnal New Year. I can look at what I’ve “harvested” over the past few months; evaluate what I want to tuck away for the winter (Don’t chuckle; though I live in the Sonoran Desert, we DO get winter. Or what passes for winter, here, anyway) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Another reason to evaluate in the fall is that it’s a tradition for part of my family. Although I wasn’t raised with this holiday; some of my family members celebrate the Jewish New Year; and I observe my own version of Yom Kippur in a September. I think the fact that I was not brought up in that particular religion makes me more able, objectively, to appreciate some of the ceremonies it has. I have a lot of religious baggage from the religious upbringing I did have; and am still reconciling myself with what was passed to me as truth.

Some random things I’m looking to let go of:

Hair! I’m sure I won’t really do this; but my hair has been bugging me lately. I’m sorely tempted to shave it all off. I’ve always been “into” my hair; it’s sort of long for who I am, and it gets into everything. During the long hot summer we’ve been having here, it’s particularly annoying. I know the more obvious solution is to just cut it short! But I can’t! That would be so un-me. I’d rather just cut it all off, if I’m going to change it…but then I’m afraid I’ll look like an melon or, worse, TweedleDum! (TweedleDee wouldn’t be as bad!) ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I’ll probably, as I usually do, just let it grow another inch while I ponder…

Papers! Seriously, is there any reason to keep old bills around any more? They are all accessible and stored online from every institution. I act as if I’m about to be subject to a tax audit of the last 78 years (!) and I’ll be one of those people that rolls in 24 carts of materials to be examined. In looking to clean out and simplify certain aspects of my life; both out of desire and necessity, I’m gingerly going through these old records and shredding away! I hope I feel better afterward.

People! Do you ever see people as baggage? Is that a rude thing to ask? Some of the people who have been in my life don’t quite fit anymore, while others are changing roles or adding to them. This is natural evolution in most cases; but we humans tend to hold on even as we evolve, sometimes. I’ve heard it said that if a relationship isn’t serving you, let it go! Much like you would and old vacuum cleaner that blows dusty air out instead of sucks it in. Some of my relationships are work-related, and I’ve noticed that, in most cases, when the working relationship ends, very often the personal one does too. Most of them need the glue of the common interest and activity to hold them together. There are exceptions, of course. It’s perfectly possible—and I have done—to find a long-term friend in these circumstances, but as I look back, I realize that, out of all the people I felt were extremely important in my day-to-day existence, only a handful have stayed in touch with me, or I with them. I am more guilty of this than most, I think. If someone calls, months after a project, and wants to have lunch, I’ll think “Why?” I may go ahead and have the lunch, but in these cases I’ll feel tongue-tied and awkward, and say things like “So, how’s your life been since we finished producing that art project 1000 balloons as Representative of Modern Angst?”

Thoughts! Here are things—and I have heard it said many times that “thoughts are things”–that are a bit harder to deal with, even more so than people. People will eventually go away if I ignore them long enough (I know I sound unsociable, and I sort of am!, but I only do that with people I want to go away), but thoughts! what can one do about thoughts? Really, for me anyway, there are only two ways to clear up the unwanted kind. One is to replace them with better-feeling thoughts, and make some new memories. After some practice, these will become my thoughts. It doesn’t do a lot of good to dwell on the unpleasant ones without some form of relief. This can be anything from vigorous exercise to energy techniques, but best for me is to imagine the kinds of thoughts I’d like to have!—Not to sound too Pollyanna-ish… ๐Ÿ™‚

English! By this I specifically mean the English language used in sacred choral music. A lot of people in the western world play in orchestras or sing in choruses. I have done both for many years. In the “classical” tradition (misnamed, but that’s another post) ๐Ÿ˜‰ most—by no means all, but most—of the vocal music consists of interpretations of western Christian liturgy. Many people can just sing those right along for years, regardless of their background or beliefs. In one of the choral groups I work with, there are a surprising number of spiritual persuasions and non-persuasions. I will confess that, for me, it is increasingly difficult to repeat phrases that have no place in my belief system. I could just continue to “suck it up” as I have been doing for years. After all, choral directors and coaches often tell us that part of our “job” singing this music is to be actors, to “sell” it. I do see this as important if accepting a role in a play (and I WAS a missionary, for the Save-A-Soul Mission, in the musical Guys and Dolls–ironic, huh?) but, there are a variety of roles in plays, whereas in traditional western classical music, there is mostly this adulterated religious expression. When these works are sung in Latin or German or French, I at least get some distance from them, even though I still know what every word says. I can more easily step into a “role” if I’m not using the language I speak and think in.

Ideas! You’d think this would have been covered in “Thoughts”, above, but ideas are different from thoughts. An idea is: “Hey maybe I’ll become a circus clown! That’s just what I’ve been needing to spice up my life!” or, “I’ve noticed that when I go into rooms painted Chartreuse I feel peppier! I think I’m going to paint my whole house Chartreuse!” (I never said “ideas” were necessarily “good” or “helpful”.) They are Proclamations rather than mere Thoughts. All of us have probably thought of a product or two from time to time that *does* seem to be a good idea. Some of them languish away on the back burner, while others are brought to the forefront. So I’m ready to let go of the not-as-good ones.

Fix-it Projects! My house seems to need a lot of work at the moment, some of which I can do myself, some not; some of which costs a fair amount of money, and some not. Everything from replacing the carpets to fixing the leak in the garage seems to need doing. The kitchen could use some work. The bathrooms scare me a little. But how to prioritize? Should I do the things that cost the least and that I can do myself first? Or should I make a list of things from most to least urgent and work my way down as best I can? I’m a bit unmotivated and disheartened, but if I want to leave this house for greener pastures, these things must be done. Even if I don’t…I deserve a nice place to live, don’t I? I’ve just thought of a third way to do my list, which brings me finally to…

Lists! I have a love/hate relationship with lists. When I travel, I obsess about them. I put everything I want to pack on a list, from underwear to nail clippers. After all, I’m traveling all the way to…California!, a primitive land where I’m sure they don’t have things like toothpaste, should I forget it, nor could I possibly borrow it from my native Californian sister, whom I will visit–backwards creature that she is! She probably scrubs her teeth with backyard sand! …And then there’s the other kind of list: “Things To Do”. I like to make these lists, but I rarely do what’s on them. My streak of rebelliousness comes out when I’m told to do something, even when I’m the one telling. I don’t really want to “Do” anything. I do often do things, but I’d rather just “Be”. Perhaps I should make a “To Be” list! Yes! I’ll put that on my list of things To Do. ๐Ÿ™‚

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An update on Amy the Artist

Posted on September 20, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, Music, Musings |

NaBloPoMo September

Another “Art Month” post here; this time a reference to an earlier post about a rather extraordinary relationship I’ve established.ย  The “update” part of this update is:ย  Recently the organization I mention int he original post started up rehearsals again after being off for the summer. I have no idea what Amy did all summer; she didn’t discuss it with me. When she walked into the room on that first night, though, an amazing thing happened. She allowed me to hug her! I never had done in the years we have known each other. A few years ago, when she told me her mother had just died, I patted her shoulder, and she recoiled as if my hand were a hot poker. So I have kept my distance. But, the group is a huggy crowd–at least after not having seen each other for a while–and I’d already exchanged a few with other members. When I saw Amy, I just spontaneously began to put my arm around her, and she hugged me back. It was quick, and hesitant, but it did indeed take place. ๐Ÿ™‚

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It hurts me in small ways

Posted on September 17, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

NaBloPoMo September

Continuing on the “Art Month” Theme, I include here a Prose Poem I wrote a while back. The “You” I am addressing is that entity called “Life”

You don’t know what I hear
when you tell me things.
I want you uncensored, and yet…
there are ways I am not like you.

And in those ways that you are—
I imagine myself.
It’s not in my character;
you don’t mean it to be this way;
it is I who am not in synch.

I’ve always felt queer and out of place,
even within the out-of-place culture.
I just go along as best I can
without wanting to conform.

It has brought me peace
and loneliness.
I am not worldly like you.

You say as I am out there
with my trip firmly placed
like to have chosen
from among those on offer;

but they never were; not to me.
My way was not to sample, only taste.
To know that I don’t fit this world of yours
Hurts Me in Small Ways.

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Art Month

Posted on September 15, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings |

NaBloPoMo September

Getting a bit of a late start, but I’m inspired by National Blog Posting Month’s theme for September. NaBloPoMo seeks to inspire bloggers with themes and writing prompts so that they will post every day for a month on one particular theme. I signed up one month, and I think I lasted four days. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t really want to feel obligated to post every SINGLE day (see “Blogging without Obligation” badge to your right) nor be restricted to just one theme when I might have a lot to say on other issues. I thought it might be a good exercise to see if my topics could fit within the context of the NaBloPoMo theme, as I have been inspired by specific assignments before. It was not enough motivation to get me to post every day!

In September, though, the theme is “Art”, a topic I feel some passion for, so I thought I’d contribute just a few towards it. Besides, I like the logo for September; Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” ๐Ÿ˜€

For my first “Art Post” of the month, I want to direct the reader’s attention to my favorite post on the topic I have ever posted, because it paints a portrait of my interest.

Thanks for reading; and Happy Art Month! ๐Ÿ™‚

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So, that was summer, then…

Posted on August 23, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, Music, Musings, Travel |

This is what summer looks like from where I sit. Autumn looks a bit like that, too. In late Autumn and Spring there are also incredible wildflowers—then the desert looks a bit like the poppy fields in The Wizard of Oz.

The official “summer over” signal for me is the start of the autumn semester at the University of Arizona. The students are back. The staff is back. Everything kicks into high gear. July, being “the most popular month to leave Tucson” is very slow and sleepy and hot. It’s probably a bit like living in a summer resort town in the winter (except for the temperature!)ย  Although the Tucson area is not a resort, per se, it has many of them, and is known as a winter destination because of the mild temperatures then.

The problem with autumn being NOW (almost a full month before the season starts officially) is that it is still amazingly warm, and predicted to be so for at lest a couple more weeks. New students at the U are quite shocked by this. They may have made their campus visits in April, and now wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into. We can only tell them it DOES, eventually, cool off; you WILL need to wear sweaters and jackets. It gets COLD here, even snows a bit! Hard to believe at the moment.ย 

The other thing about this summer for me is that I DIDN’T GO ANYWHERE! I usually do in late July or early August. I will sometimes visit my family in California, but, these days I’m kind of snarky about that. I will not go unless I have other reasons to be there, like a conference or seminar, or a family event like a wedding, or something. I rarely travel just to travel. I have friends who used to invite me to their summer place in the mountains, and have had some wonderful adventures there, like this one. It is beautiful there in the summer. Warm days; cool nights; hiking and dining and western history. But…they sold their cabin! Without asking me! Can you imagine? ๐Ÿ˜‰ They said they weren’t using it as much, and they had a good buyer, and in this economy they thought they ought to take advantage of that.

So, it’s been an odd summer. I’ve barely left my area, other than for a couple of jaunts; one up to Phoenix (even hotter) and one down to Tubac (not much cooler, but fun to explore.) As some fall musical activities have started, I found myself greeting people I haven’t seen since last spring. There is a combination of “back-to-school” and “settling-in” energy going on with a lot of these folks, and they inevitably ask me where I went this summer. When I say I was here the whole time, I get the look: “Only a complete moron would stay in the Sonoran Desert all summer without relief!” ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I am familiar with that look, and have steeled myself to be on the receiving end of if for another month or so. ๐Ÿ˜€

I will say that summer is a great time to hit the shopping centers and malls, if you like that sort of thing. In July, you can just about roller skate through Tucson Mall, for instance…try that in late November when the winter visitors and holiday shoppers are there! One can barely get a place to park, then. The other fun things are the restaurants. I haven’t taken much advantage, but they offer all kinds of specials and perks to get business in the summer. A couple of years ago a friend and I wandered into one of our favorites, and they were testing out their new menu. They served us two signature dishes for free! We only paid for our drinks. Good business practice, too, as this restaurant remains a favorite, and I often recommend it.

Now that work is starting to pick up again, I’m hoping the weather might mellow out soon. I’ll be able to hike here and here which I love, and perhaps rearrange my life a bit.

How has your summer been?

photo credits #1 eflon #2 Rick’s
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My home state rocks…today!

Posted on August 4, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples,” the judge wrote in a 136-page ruling that laid out in precise detail why the ban does not pass constitutional muster.

The judge found that the gay marriage ban violates the Constitution’s due process and equal protection clauses.

“Because Proposition 8 disadvantages gays and lesbians without any rational justification, Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the judge ruled.

Thank you U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker for seeing sense. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog; I’m not terribly politically involved, but human rights are one of my handful of political passions. I know there is a long road ahead, but I shall take time today to feel some elation along it.

Hurrah! ๐Ÿ˜€

Story Here

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Peevy Weekend! :)

Posted on July 25, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, Musings, Philosophy |

I’ve been grouchy for a couple of days. Usually, I like to stay upbeat and optimistic on the blog, but occasionally I give it a little rant time, just for balance. I’m going through a phase, it seems. I don’t see these as negative (still trying to put a positive spin on it) ๐Ÿ™‚ but as springboards. I’ve noticed in the past, that when I become extremely disgruntled, it signals impending change in my life. It’s like those last little bits of complacency are still trying to hold on.

So in the interest of acknowledging the change, and because I tend to process my life on this blog ๐Ÿ˜‰ here are my current grumblies—not in order of importance:

Missing socks: I was doing laundry today; which I tend to do while also doing a multitude of other things, and a sock was just gone! I’m sure we’ve all experienced this; for me, it’s simply not possible to get on with my life until the sock is found. Finally, it turned up in the corner of a fitted bedsheet. Personal Quirk regarding socks: I have a color-coordinated sock drawer. I like it best when all the black socks are together; then the blue ones, then the brown ones, etc. Unlike many of my fellow desert dwellers, I wear socks all summer, so I have a lot of them.

Technology in general: The thought of not having access to my computer 24/7 is frightening for a few reasons. A lot of my life is lived through the machine at the moment, and not having a computer would make me feel cut off. The obvious example: I’m using it right now to talk to you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My computer is sort of limping along these days having quirks and grouchiness of its own. I may have to get a new one. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I think I messed up my sound card recently…music plays fine, but I’m not able to use voice/microphone without grave distortions…not that I want to much, which brings me to:

Telephones in particular: I admit this is a personality quirk. I must have been traumatized by a telephone at an early age, because I really, really do not like talking on them. I can do the professional thing for work-related calls (although I prefer email if at all possible) but I don’t like having personal conversations on the phone. I generally just use my phone for emergencies, and quick business calls—I don’t even have it turned on most of the time. I don’t know why email, and more recently instant messaging is OK, but phone/voice…not as much. I’ve even lost friendships over this. I have a friend who hates email, so would call to arrange a lunch or whatever. If I didn’t answer the phone or wasn’t available when she called, I’d answer in email…which she wouldn’t read for three days, and by then, the moment had passed! ๐Ÿ™‚ We eventually realized we were not technologically compatible, and don’t see each other much now. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I also don’t like being interrupted by the phone. It startles me when it rings. I will most often let it go to voice mail, and respond when/if I feel like it. (stubborn streak!) If I know you very well in person and you live at some distance from me, I will chat on the phone, but if you live in my area, I would much rather arrange a meeting by email, and then show up and look you in the eye! The aforementioned former friend would also do something that bugs me: she’d be calling to arrange a meeting, and then start chatting; asking about my life; telling me about hers. That’s what we’re planning to have lunch for, right?—to catch up with each others’ lives. I find this sort of conversation irritating (never said I was a fun friend). ๐Ÿ˜‰ By the time I get off the phone after one of these kinds of conversations, I wonder why we’re bothering to meet for lunch!

At this point, the only people I chat with (at any length) by phone are my sister, occasionally my niece, and an old friend. My cousins even email me. Recently, though, I realize my phone-hermit tendencies have been hampering my social life in unexpected ways, Hmmm. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Interaction with Medical Personnel: While I can’t imagine any of you saying “Oh, boy! I get to visit the doctor today”, I disliked my medical appointment this week more than I usually do. A lot of fussing, I thought, and recommendations for blood tests (just to check—for what?) and a stern lecture about diet (want my pasta!) because of blood sugar issues. I tend to get rebellious (more of the stubborn streak), but I realize this isn’t helpful; it’s better to concentrate on what feels right to acquire optimum health. So, I allowed myself to growl at the doctor (once I was safely home) ๐Ÿ˜‰ and then make the d#*% shopping list he wants me to.

Other Drivers: I am, of course, a perfect driver, driving at the perfect speed for the occasion. ๐Ÿ˜› YOU, on the other hand… ๐Ÿ˜‰ are driving 25 mph in a 45 zone. Or, you are riding my bumper. Or, you have suddenly decided to make a left turn right in front of me. I do use these opportunities to breathe deeply and embrace the quality of patience…sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚

These are all, relatively minor; in the scheme of things. There’s a lot I could get upset about in the world, if I really wanted to. Which I don’t. I think change comes from within, and the best thing to do is recognize these grouchy moments as foment for change. If I contemplate society, or my life situation, or anything else that doesn’t seem quite right, I can do one of three things: either continue whining and complaining, take some inspired action, or stop thinking about the things I’m not going to do anything about. I allow the first action for a little bit of time, but I don’t like to indulge or nurture it too much because, ultimately, it’s doesn’t help anyone/anything. Still, without the occasional glass (or blog) of whine; sometimes the peeves get stuck. None of us want that! ๐Ÿ˜€

Finally, a friend sent this to me a couple of days ago (in email, not by phone) ๐Ÿ™‚ and while I don’t have kids (or anyone else) who would do this, I, um, can relate:

Last night, my kids and I were sitting in the living room and I said to them, ‘I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.’

They got up, unplugged the Computer, and threw out my wine.
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Morning Symphony

Posted on July 6, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings |

I’ve been keeping various hours for various reasons lately. For one thing, work slows down in the summer, and I’m not out as much as I can be at other times. Generally, unless I have a morning meeting, I’m quite capable of staying in bed until 9:30 or so. (Honestly, there are a couple of days a week I could stay in bed all day if I chose, but one does want to think one has a life!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tell that to animals, wild and domestic, that live near me, however! Let’s say I’ve gone to bed around 2 a.m. I’d naturally want to be left alone until at least 9, but it is not to be. At around 5:30 it begins. First up are what I call “The Twitterers” (and I don’t mean those who tweet on Twitter), nasty sweet little birds of several species who think it’s a fine idea to chirp the world into being each day.

After that, there are always one or two quail willing to contribute their opinion. Have you heard a desert quail‘s call? It’s just the most appalling melodious sound, kind of a combination of a duck and a goose and a loon.

I’m just nodding off after this, when My Neighbor’s Dog is let out in the morning, promptly at 6! There is probably higher-level neural processing than this going on, but this is what I imagine him to be thinking:

Janice just let me out into the backyard! This is the most exciting thing that’s happened, ever! (OK, since yesterday afternoon) I must bark for three minutes to celebrate! {5 minute pause; I’m nodding off again} Look! There is a bird! I must bark at it! {another pause} Look! it’s a lizard! I must bark at it! {yet another pause} Look, a rock! (A rock in a suburban desert garden is as common as a grain of sand on the beach, so you see it doesn’t take much.)

The dog gets let back in around 6:30, so I can sleep for another couple of hours, right? …Not quite. This doesn’t happen every day, but often enough: The tale of the woodpecker and the chimney. After that, I’m pretty much awake, or if not, a neighbor has chosen the coolest time of day to use his electric hedge clippers, or they’re cleaning up a construction site down the road and the trucks are intermittently making those back-up noises. In the meantime, the intense summer sun hits the wall of my sleeping room. I have the blinds drawn, but still! All of the above occurred this morning; in fact the woodpecker started up even before the dog!

So, you ask, why don’t I just go to bed earlier, the way my sensible neighbors do? I have tried. Really. But I am a creature of the night; I’m alert, then, and I even do much of my best work in the wee hours.

Lately, I’ve mastered the art of the afternoon nap, when necessary. As long as I don’t have meetings then, it’s a good sleep time for me. Siesta revisited. There are studies indicating that power naps make one more alert and focused. I like the word “power” in the title; makes me feel as if I’m doing something vital and productive, as opposed to a name like…”lazy sloth nap”, for instance.ย  I’ll leave you with this well-known situation.

As for me; I’ll see you later; it’s time for my nap. ๐Ÿ˜€

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