“Gain strength. Suck up energy. Make a point of appreciating the fragrance of the flowers and the beauty of the sunset. It is like armor. When you take a moment to practice my message you can then be armed with an ability to be detached. One is meant to forgive, to forgive and be compassionate.”~Kuan Yin”
~ Hope Bradford, Oracle of Compassion: The Living Word of Kuan Yin
If we were having coffee, I would be delighted to see you again. Come on in! It’s a little chilly outside today, isn’t it? It’s somewhere near the average for this time of year. In the mid-40’s. The wind, of course, makes it feel colder. It has been very breezy here the past few days.
Let’s have a seat in the living room today where the wood stove and the sunlight will keep us warm and cozy. We have the usual assortment of beverages — coffee (caff and decaff), tea (black, green, and a wide assortment of herbals), hot chocolate, hot cider, and sparkling and still water. As for snacks, there’s hummus and pita (as always), and chips and salsa.
How are you? What have you been up to since we last got together for coffee? Have you traveled anywhere? Seen or experienced anything new? Read any good books or seen any good films?
I’m reading a very techy sci-fi book, The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson. The book has made it past my 50 Page Rule (if I can’t get into it within the first 50 pages, I give up and donate or give away the book), but just barely. I can’t figure out if I’m interested in the story or not. It’s a difficult read for me because of all the technical concepts. The story itself is interesting (which, at this point, seems to revolve around subversion) so I will probably keep slogging along for a while.
As for films, tonight M and I will be watching Mr. Holmes with Ian McKellen and Laura Linney. During the week we have been watching a Canadian series, Orphan Black. We’re only three or four episodes into Season 1, and it’s been really good so far. I enjoyed last week’s viewing of Far From the Madding Crowd. Carry Mulligan was wonderful as Bathsheba Everdene. M, who has not read the book, found it a little confusing. I think that’s because the ending was somewhat rushed.
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that in addition to the online course (“Making Sense of the News”), I am taking a course at a local college. It’s a Boating Skills & Seamanship course taught by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. We meet on Thursday evenings for a couple of hours, and it’s been interesting so far. I enjoy the classes much more than I do reading the textbook. When I finish, and if I past the test, I’ll have a certificate to show for it that will get us a discount on insurance if we decide to buy a boat.
Since arriving here on the Eastern Shore, M has been looking for a used boat within our price range. Since I know absolutely nothing about boating other than what I learned so we could take up kayaking, I decided I should take a course. When I mentioned that it’s a local college, you should keep in mind that local around here means about an hour’s drive from the ranch. Not only have I been enjoying the class, but it’s nice to get out and about with other people, and explore a new town and the restaurants in that town where I’ve already had some really yummy food.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the bathroom renovation is not yet complete. Although we were told it would only take two visits to complete, the guys have been out here three days this week. There have been several glitches, but I have no complaints about what has been finished or about the men that have been doing the work. The glitches come from up above, so to speak. Those in charge don’t know enough about their products to be sure they are meeting the needs of their clients. As usual, we ended up doing the research for them and coming up with products that satisfied us and our needs/wants.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that the renovation work has kept me inside for the three days they were working on the bathroom. I have to be available if they have questions (and they always have questions) so I have not been getting outside for the usual long walks. Since the workers won’t be back for at least another week or two, I should be able to resume my usual walks with camera in hand. I have been keeping myself to the property when I go out for walks. The neighbors are still displaying their signs from the last election and although I’m probably reading too much into it, it feels like they are gloating. I would be feeling shame by now if I had been displaying DT signage in my front yard.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that between the renovation and all that is happening in this country, it has been a very long week. So much has been happening that I find myself feeling stunned by the end of the day. This has led to me finally doing something that I’ve been threatening to do for at least a year or two. I am suspending my Facebook account tonight. I couldn’t quite bring myself to burn that bridge completely by deleting my account. The main reason I haven’t acted on it up until now is because so many of our local businesses use Facebook rather than have their own websites so it has been a necessary evil when looking up business hours, menus, contact information, or in the case of seasonal businesses, the dates they will be open.
It isn’t all bad on Facebook, but the constant barrage of news stories brought to me on my news feed has become too much for my sanity. My plan is to unplug completely for a day or two each week. No computer, no phone, no television. Just me and nature and long, long walks to strengthen my body, my mind, and my spirit. In between, I will stay informed, I will make phone calls, I will send postcards. I was somewhat pleased to note yesterday that many of our representatives are so overwhelmed with phone calls that they are asking us to email or write letters or send postcards. I printed out the postcards from the Women’s March (10 Actions/100 Days), and the first one is going out today.
There is so much going on that it has been difficult to hone in on just a few causes that are most important to me. In addition to subscribing to action updates from those causes, I will donate what and when I can. I have a new book list, books about resistance, books about feminism, books about love. I’m reading a few new blogs here and there. If you know of any good blogs that cover the topics of resistance, feminism, and love, feel free to leave a link in the comments.
This morning I read Katrina Kenison’s latest blog post, Activism for Introverts. There is a lovely blessing at the end. If you don’t have time for the entire post, please take the time to read the blessing. We could all use a good blessing these days.
Move through your day with love. Make it a conscious intention. Put your socks on with love. Make your coffee with love. Read the paper with love. Check your email with love. See strangers with love. Sweep the cat hair off your couch with love. Push the elevator button with love. Fold your laundry with love. Watch the news with love. Make time for love. Make love your art.
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that it’s time for me to go. M and I have some hard work to do outside today. We’re moving the trunks of the trees that were cut down when the meadow was mowed. It will be good exercise, and hopefully will help us both rest better tonight.
If we were having coffee, I would turn this over to you now. Thank you so much for dropping in for another coffee chat. I always enjoy your company. Feel free to stick around. You’re welcome to rest and enjoy the warmth indoors or, if you’re feeling ambitious, come on out and help us haul around some wood. Stay for dinner, too. We’re having a starter of lentil soup and an entree of chickpea burgers on pita with tzatziki sauce. Sunset might be colorful tonight. It’s at 5:22 PM, and I’m going to head over to the Point to watch it this evening. It will probably be windy so bundle up if you’re going to join me.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Thank you to Diana for hosting it. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.