Friday, October 30, 2009

Sensory Treats

I love the taste of:

  • Mocha frappuccino with a shot of caramel
  • My mom's noodles
  • Candied sweet potatoes
  • An ice cold Coca-Cola on a hot day
  • Flourless chocolate cake

I love the sight of:

  • My grandkids' smiling faces
  • New books to read
  • A rainbow
  • The Mississinewa river
  • Fountain pens

I love the sound of:

  • Old time rock and roll
  • Wind chimes
  • 80's dance music
  • Children laughing
  • A flute

I love the smell of:

  • Coffee (even though I don't like to drink it very much)
  • Cinnamon and apple
  • Paul Sebastian men's cologne
  • A bookstore
  • Fresh cut grass

I love the feel of:

  • A baby's soft skin
  • Flannel sheets
  • A book in my hands (you knew that had to be in there somewhere!)
  • A hug
  • A soft kiss

These sensory treats were inspired by Jamie Ridler's entry that she wrote after being inspired by the work she's doing in The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. Jamie leads an on-line group called The Next Chapter . The group works through a book in unison and writes up their response weekly. I thought about joining this group because I have the book, I love Martha Beck, and I would love to be in a group like this. I've followed the group as they've worked through other books. At the time they started, I still didn't have a reliable computer, and I just didn't know if I would stick with the exercises. Maybe I'll join the next one. Until then, I check in, read their entries, and then do some of the exercises on my own. I guess that is "Learning by Lurking!"

So, how about you? What are some of your sensory treats?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Things I am thankful for today:

  • Having my granddaughter Shannon stay with us—she is a joy and brings new life to our house
  • Family
  • Feeling better
  • Sunshine
  • Connecting with people through the internet
  • Blogs
  • Writing
  • Books (of course!)
  • computers

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Enamored of Outbuildings

This phrase has been circling through my brain for the last little while, and it describes my condition perfectly. I am enamored of outbuildings, longing for a barn, a pole barn, an unused chicken coop, or a tool shed that I could claim for my own. Alas, I live in town with a small yard and a lone utility shed out back that my husband built and claimed for storing tools and yard stuff.

I grew up on farms, lived in places that always had all the buildings listed above, plus a few more. We had a woodshed, a smokehouse, a milk house, and an old lean-to in one of the barnyards. I am accustomed to having an abundance of outbuildings, places that could be used for any purpose we came up with.

When I was little, I had a playhouse in the front of the woodshed. A place where I could decorate, cook mud pies, tend to my doll family and play house with my friends and even my brother when he could be coerced into it. Of course, he always got to be "Dad" and go out to work in the field or to his job in another part of the yard. I was the one staying in my house and hanging plastic curtains up in the open window or rearranging the pieces of leftover furniture and boxes that furnished my house.

So why am I enamored of these buildings now, now that I am a grown woman, a woman who plays house for real, whose children are grown and gone, a woman who theoretically has her own real house with space to use as she will?

My longing on the surface is just for more space, space where I can set up a craft room, or an exercise room, or a writing studio or a meditation space or a barn big enough to contain all these functions. That sounds like paradise to me. I want space to spread out, to sprawl, to unfold all my collections from their imprisoning boxes or the piles stacked in every available corner of my house. A place of my own, where I can leave out the current or not so current projects that I might be working on. Or thinking about. Or just like to see. So many times for me it is out of sight, out of mind. If I had a huge barn, I could keep everything out everywhere.

I used to envy the host on the show "Collector Inspector." He lived in an old 1960's schoolhouse with long halls and many rooms and he had walls of shelves with all his collections grouped, arranged and displayed like those in a museum or second hand store. I loved that house and that man—I think I wanted to be him!

I read magazines now like "Where Women Create" and "Studios." I see all the creative spaces that current artists, painters, quilters, collagers, writers, and designers use. Each space is as individual and quirky as the person using it is. Some pages I return to again and again. I think, "I could do that!" Or, "Oh, how wonderful!" I want a space of my own, just like they have.

After writing about the outbuildings of my childhood though, I think that the childhood feeling is a big part of longing for my own shed. Yes, I could keep my stuff out there, or I could be like the famous and not so famous writers who go out to the shed every day to write or meditate. So grown up. Yet going out to that shed of my own would revive that feeling of having a special place, a place all my own, that feeling of being young with a life full of possibilities ahead of me, a life where I could make those fantasies come true. I want that feeling of largess, of boundless possibilities. And that is why, right now, I am enamored of outbuildings.