Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scaling Back

It started a couple of years ago with an ill-conceived idea of launching a hand-painted greeting card store on Etsy - how hard could that be? - and progressed slowly from there: blogging (not one, but two sites), opening another virtual store on Zibbet, providing cards to a small boutique near Tulsa and signing on to do my first craft show.  I took online courses to learn HTML, XHTML and Dreamweaver with the goal of creating my own website.  Then added a class to learn ways to promote that website - a website as yet unrealized, I might add.  I started spending a lot of time promoting my blogs, commenting everywhere I could, following like-minded bloggers and generally spending way too much time clicking away on a keyboard.  Since I didn't do all of these things at once, I didn't appreciate the time that these all of these "little" projects would take - until I was juggling all of them.  One of the reasons Kel and I moved from Washington, DC was to get away from our computer screens.

My time outside, my time in the garden dwindled; my enjoyment of being in the kitchen messing with the mixing bowls lessened because it always felt like I needed to do everything really fast and I stopped relishing the process.  My once-daily yoga practice turned into once a week, if I was lucky.

So after a good talking-to with myself, I'm scaling back.  Dough, Dirt & Dye will get the short-shrift while I focus most of my blogging energy on An Unrefined Vegan - where my heart and stomach really lie.  Triple D will remain the home of my BESTeam features, and any pretentious literary-minded musings that crop up.  Empty on the Inside will not be stowed away in mothballs, but I won't be devoting much time to it.  Perhaps in the future I'll get back into it and give it the attention it requires/deserves.  In the meantime, I hope you'll keep up with me at An Unrefined Vegan

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to My Plow

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I've finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road
- Elton John, Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

Every once in a while I get the itch to be in a city.  When I get tired of wearing work boots, dog-hair-covered shirts and dirty jeans.  When I just need some time in a store that isn't Walmart - one that's heard of tempeh and fennel and miso.  When a thin layer of lipstick makes me feel made up like a beauty pageant contestant.

I got my big city fix last week in one of the country's most beautiful cities: San Francisco.  There is no doubt there is something exhilarating about being in a large metropolitan area - the streets and highways like pumping arteries, the overwhelming amount of goods and services - anything that one's heart desires - the flow of people from every walk of life and culture making their way along sidewalks and through city parks; new vistas, unfamiliar sounds.  I enjoy it all and sometimes feel like a country bumpkin fresh off of the turnip truck, constantly swiveling my head to take in the colors and sights.  

The urge to be surrounded by cement, however, and block after block of buildings and endless streams of cars passes quickly and I'm always relieved to get back to the quiet days and dark nights of the country.  My mind inevitably strays, just as it did as I was crossing over the San Mateo Bridge one late afternoon, the sun sparkling on the water and the rise and fall of blue mountains far off in the distance: This must've been really something before humans got here.  That's when I know it's time to head home and assuage my jaded eyes with the fields and trees of home.  Time to pull my crummy jeans back on and to head out with Ike into the sound of the clean wind.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goin' to California

Triple D will be quiet for a few days while I journey to northern California to spend time with two of my best and dearest friends (whom forthwith shall be dubbed L and K) - women I've known for (gasp) 28 years - ever since our first nervous days as freshmen art students at Miami University (that's the one in Ohio, folks).  The richness of my college experience is owed in large part to these two beautiful women.  I've trusted them with some of my most intimate secrets, and they've never betrayed my faith in them.  They've been both support and comfort during difficult times.  They've been my partners in shopping crime.  And they've never failed to make me laugh until it hurt.

Over the years we've kept in weekly, sometimes daily touch by email and every few years we manage to slow down our busy lives enough to see each other in person.  The photos below are from our last trip to California where the three of us completed the 2009 Nike Women's Half Marathon.  (Incidentally, an incredible if painful way to see San Francisco.).  L was down with the flu, my left knee was shot and my right foot gave out somewhere around mile 15; K ran it ably while intermittently texting me to see where I was - and thus in our own fashions, we crossed the finish line.
This trip is extra special.  We are celebrating L's wedding.  I'm so happy to be able to be part of this special occasion in her life and to add to the treasure of memories that we share.  It will be a time to reconnect, to remember, to laugh, and if we can squeeze it in, do a little shopping.


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