Turn the page–start a new chapter

turn the page

The long and dreary days of winter are coming to a close. Doesn’t seem likely considering the sub-zero temperatures we’ve had here in the Great Lakes that even cancelled many schools last week. But, alas, all good bad things must come to an end and we’re almost (and, yes, in only two months we will be finished with April showers and on to May flowers) to the chapter that reads “Daffodils! Robin Redbreasts!” At last.

And it’s just about now that those of us who started the new year with impressive resolutions find them almost forgotten and certainly neglected. *heavy sigh* We want to change … but it’s hard work. I, for instance, am undertaking a 52 Weeks To An Organized Home challenge. (You can read about it here .) I loved the fact that the to-dos were manageable: 15 minutes every day. Except I front-loaded the list and accomplished what I could while I was on winter break, knowing life would get hectic once I was back to school.  My kitchen counters, cupboards, and pantry are dreamy. Underneath the sink and my spice cupboard are another story.

We dream big, forgetting that resolutions take place in our head–actually carrying out our grand schemes requires we get down and dirty. In typical human fashion, we probably expect too much too soon.We want to re-title our book, when maybe all we need to do is turn the page and move on to the next chapter. So an organized home? Probably not. But the kitchen chapter of the challenge is just about finished, and when it is, I’ll push ahead–but meeting that challenge on my own terms.

So  take a page out of Winter’s book and let yourself move on. When the time is right.

I Love Lucy ♥

I love Lucy.

No, I mean I really love Lucy. I’m not your run of the mill Vitameatavegamin-candy-factory-grape-stomping kind of fan. My fan creds?  Well, I’ve been to Lucy’s hometown in Jamestown, I love lucy triviaNew York where I toured the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy. My husband and I drove  to nearby Celoron to get a peek (and a pic!) of her childhood home, which, by the way, is cute as a bug’s ear as Lucy might say. My small library of Lucy books runs from reference to coffee table. Of her early Metro Goldwyn Meyer girl films, Stage Door is my favorite and of course I have my very own copy of The Long Long Trailer. (Even my favicon on this blog is even a nod to her in the initial we share.) And on my Bucket List? The annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival held in Jamestown, really as much to see all the Lucy impersonators as anything else.Lucille Ball

When our TV situation allowed, I’d watch Lucy episodes with my reference books at the ready, waiting to pick out the gaffs and highlights. The Lucy Book by Geoffrey Fidelman is especially handy because the show’s directors, writers, and editors (as well as some of the actors) comment on each episode of her fifty years in television. It’s a trivia Lucy lover’s dream come true.  But nothing can beat Lucy At the Movies for chronicling her fifty years in film and being just plain gorgeous, like Lucy herself.

Of course if you love Lucy and Desi, you also know the story of their personal lives—how they rose to great power in Hollywood, how Desi chaffed at being “Mr. Ball” then occupied himself with a series of dalliances, how they struggled to continue their legacy with the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour even as their marriage crumbled. We wanted to believe, didn’t we? But love Lucy, Desi did, despite it all. Lucy called Desi on what would have been their 46th wedding anniversary, just days before he died. Their conversation, apparently, included I love yous.

Lucy was loud, she was pushy. She was naive and open-hearted. She loved her man and boy could she work those fifties fashions with cinched waists and crinolined skirts, or trousers with legs up to here.  My own sweetheart knows just how to woo me—my Valentines gift this year were tickets to see the I Love Lucy Live On Stage show touring the U.S. It’s silly, but oh so fun. (Here is a montage of some of the scenes).  The premise is that the theater audience is the studio audience for the filming of two I Love Lucy episodes, complete with commercials for Halo Shampoo, Chevrolet, and Brylcreem. Nothing too deep here. But I clapped. I laughed.I loved Lucy.

Weathering winter

Here in the Great Lakes, our winter seems to drag on for half the year. This is a place where TV weather forecasters talk about Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypes, By February we are so over it, and by March, using the words “March” and “madness” together doesn’t always refer to your basketball bracket. Our winter began in November this year with a storm that dumped two feet of snow on the area. By Thanksgiving, schools had already used two of their six snow days.

So how do we deal with being stuck inside, endless gray days, and no fresh fruits and veggies? I’ve got friends who trail ride on fat tire bikes, friends who ice fish, friends who ski, and (always, right?) friends who run. Every day, blizzard or no.

Me? Not so much. I’m pretty averse to anything that might be called ‘exercise’. If I had to choose, I’d say walking was my go-to exercise. Summers will find me walking our riverside park for a nice 5k stroll—geese, ducks, squirrels, a canopy of trees, bikers, dog walkers. You can’t get much better than that. And I used to trudge out, no matter the winter conditions. (Yak tracks are an absolute requirement.) But wading through unshoveled walks and slip sliding away one too many times has dimmed even that pleasure for me. (It might very well be time for a treadmill, who knows?)

So what are my top choices for weathering winter?

Books, books, and more books: No surprise there, right?! I know I read more in the summer when I’m not in school, but there’s nothing like a blizzardy Sunday to make me stay curled on the sofa. This year I’ve kept up a pretty brisweathering winterk pace, which is probably a good indication of just how much snow we’ve had.

Coffee: My drug of choice; it’s warm, smooth, and creamily delicious.

Putzing: Winter is a great time to rearrange furniture, weed out crowded closets, and organize cupboards. For some reason, I am drawn to make my cave neat and tidy and efficient when I’m stuck inside. Then, when the sun shines brighter and the breezes blow warmer, I’m ready for spring cleaning.

Turn inward: It’s this time of year that I set goals and plan for not the distant, but the near future. Like spring and summer. In order to get a good site, we need to make camping reservations six months out, so my thoughts turn to campfires, hobo pies, and walks in the woods. I think about additions to our garden and yard, and otherwise transport my mind past the snow and into greener days.

In a word—hibernate. And even though that sleepy groundhog saw his shadow this year, I know that in a few short weeks (probably about four, by my count) the robins will be back. And when the robins arrive, I breathe a deep sigh of relief.

It won’t be long now.

January gifts and graces

morning sunrise over the back field ♥ last flicker of a Christmas candle ♥ blue sky, say no more ♥ a room heater, toasty warm ♥ my lunch bunch ♥ I didn’t give up last summer ♥ girly girl makeup ♥ insight and intuition ♥ Mom’s pearl anniversary ring ♥ engagement diamond, reset and gifted ♥ St. Francis ♥ a listening ear and an open heart ♥ home, tether to hope ♥ Our Mother of Perpetual Help ♥ great grandma’s wedding band ♥ Avis’s scrapbook ♥ an exam answer key ♥ the power of sober change ♥ joys shared over coffee ♥ nose-to-nose baby boo’s ♥ a dollar for a sweet melody ♥ unasked help for a newbie ♥ the power of sacrament ♥ sing along gospel songs ♥ here I am ♥ miracle baby ♥ a welcomed hug in a strange place ♥ baby eyelashes ♥ gray hairs ♥ the excitement of starting life together ♥ avobath bombs ♥ the way it used to be ♥ laugh lines ♥ grownup student’s life unfolding ♥ blue mood ♥ jeans that fit ♥ security ♥ vaulted arches and blue constellations ♥ coffee ♥ wine in my sippy cup ♥ homemade granola on yogurt ♥ candle, candle burning bright ♥ books and broads ♥

True Story …

True story #1

[End of the hour, kids are packing up–the next day is Reading for Enjoyment in my high school junior English class.]

Me: If you guys want to look at my book cart and check out a book for tomorrow, now’s a good time.

50-Shades-of-GreyGirl: Do you have 50 Shades of Gray?

Me: (calmly) Noooooo, but even if I did have it, you know you couldn’t check it out, right?

Girl: Because of the content? (her nose scrunched up and head tilted)

Me: Yeppers.

OF COURSE BECAUSE OF THE CONTENT, silly girl. What in heaven’s name was she even thinking?! Now. Did I read racy books in high school?  Absolutely. But would I ever have even  considered asking a teacher to borrow one? Nah-uh. Part of the thrill is that (we think!) the adults don’t know that we’ve pulled one over on ’em.

True story #2

[I am dog-tired. It’s Friday, the dead of winter, I haven’t slept well in ages, and it was the first week of the new semester. I greet my students at the door each hour, so I’m standing in the hall right outside my room. It’s 10 AM.]

Me: Good morning, Katy!

Katy: Hi, Ms. L.

[She continues on into the room, I greet another couple students, and Katy walks back out to the hall with a frown on her face.]

Manuel Martin@Flickr

Katy: Are you okay? You look sad.

Me: I do?! No, honey, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.

I fret a bit during the hour, thinking I’d better take a couple naps this weekend.  At lunch, I stop at the rest room first thing and check out the mirror. Man, I do look tired! And … well, rather plain come to think of it … I bend closer to the mirror. Unbelievable. I somehow neglected mascara and eye liner this morning. How did  that even happen?! Even on a day I go makeupless, nine times out of ten I still use mascara. At 5:45 AM I must have started my makeup, went to let a dog back in, and just la-di-dahed back to my coffee and lunch packing. Maybe I do need those naps, after all.

Or Spring would be nice, too.