Spring Fever

I think I’ve got spring fever.  The sun shines.  It’s 53 degrees.  And I hear lawn mowers. I sat outside in a lawn chair and drank a homemade iced coffee.  The birds chirp with purpose.  So very, very nice.  It’s back to rain later this week, but for now…ahhh…

We did a bike/kettlebells interval workout today.  Since I did nothing strenuous yesterday save  matching up socks, I felt it today.  Five minutes on the bike, 6 minutes of kettlebells broken in 45 seconds on and 15 seconds of rest and recovery.  Not that you can do much recovery in 15 seconds, at least not in my experience.

I’m having a difficult time focusing on anything important.  Like ironing or world peace.  I know, how about some internet quizzes?  Yeah!

Which Firefly Character Are You?

Mal

Interesting.  And…

Which “Hunger Games” Character Are You?

You got: Finnick Odair!
Lionsgate

Handsome and charming, of course you’re Mr. Popular. You’ve worked hard to get where you’ve got to and you’re not letting anyone take it away from you. People may mistrust you sometimes but you know you’ll prove them wrong. Everyone benefits from having you around.

Ooh-kay.  Feeling a little  divided here.  Finnick?!  Why not Joanna?  Geez.  Maybe this will help…

Which Muppet Are You?

You got: Scooter

Your life is all about coffee. You’re really, really good at your job and deserve more recognition.

Great.  The most boring muppet ever. But I do love coffee .  I would never be caught dead in that jacket, however.
Let’s sum up.  So, according to this subjective identity analysis, I am a male of some kind.  I’m handsome and popular but also disillusioned and good at my job.  Good call, internet.
Just one more…

Which Disney Princess Are You?

You got: Ariel

You are a dreamer who is always thinking of the next big step in your life. Some may think you have set your sights too high but your friends know you are capable of anything.

I stacked it (a little) this time.  I had to get a female character.  I do love the ocean.  I’m ending on a positive note with this answer.  “Capable of anything”.  That’s the ticket! Thanks, internet, and thank you, friends, for believing in me. Now to find Sebastian…

Lull in the Storm

Photo by outdoor-photos.com

Photo by outdoor-photos.com

I felt lousy yesterday. No blog. No run.  No nothing.  My back and hips were cranky, my energy low. I did the basic chores – figuring out and setting dinner to cook in the slow cooker, paying bills, getting Ruby off to while going 12 rounds with her – and then read my book.  After a dry morning, it rained and rained and rained, confirming my resolve to stay inside and rest.  More than an inch of rain fell yesterday.  I got pretty discouraged about, well, everything.

Today is a new day.

Looking out the window this morning, it’s a different world.  The wind blows.  Dark puffy clouds scud across the sky as if in a fire drill.  No rain waters the earth.  No birds doing their cheep show today – yet. Sleeping in, I guess. The air is sweet and clean, put out fresh for the dawn’s new line.  I step outside to take out the trash.  The air feels like spring.  Blue sky peeks at me behind the fast-moving scrim of gray-white clouds.  The sun breaks out, shedding golden light on all it touches.

More rain will come.  In fact, it’s in the forecast every day this week.  But no matter.  I am ready for today. I’ve got kettlebells class to look forward to. I detest enforced rest.  But if it helps me prepare for the next day, and I come back full of energy and expectation, I’ll take it.

…Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning. – Psalm 30:5

Ice Princess

Gather round, friends!  Today I rediscovered the key to becoming a faster runner.  Step right up!

You ready?

Here it is:

Run outside when it’s below freezing, preferably with temps in the teens or twenties!  Yes. Your numb rump will spur you on. Your ears will turn blue. Your shirt, trying to ride up and expose your pasty stomach to the freezing air, will also keep you moving.

Somehow, I managed to average sub 9-minute miles.  Gulp!   I planned to make today the long run, which it was.  It ended up at around 5 miles. I tried to take it slow, I really did. I reminded myself to enjoy the spectacular icy scenery, the blue sky peeking between the dark green Douglas firs, the refreshing air.  And the lovely morning inspired me. The crunchy ice-encrusted grass glittered in the sunshine.  I passed a few other regular runners going the opposite direction.  We all wore fleece.  Go figure. Janathon continues.

Here is the last song I listened to, purely at random.  Enjoy!

Blinded By the Light

I went to the store to buy new sunglasses today.  I broke my last pair in two places.  Lest you think I’m some sort of fashionista, fear not!  I will wear whatever sunglasses are handy, much to my son’s dismay. I don’t like squinting.  However, I am not going to spend $100 on vintage Wayfarers or somesuch.  We don’t have enough sun up here to justify having famous name sunblockers.  Besides, I’d probably break them anyway.

I went to the meager selection of sunglasses.  It seemed they were out there to appease the dolts like me who broke theirs or lost them.  We’re having a sunny week.  Don’t worry; it will pass.  I looked around and around the pairs, some 3 dozen in total.  I tried some on, but there was no mirror available to offer me a look at what worked and what didn’t.  I’m kinda used to it, since those mirrors usually hit me around the top of my head, even when I stand on tiptoe.  I ended up going to the dressing rooms to take a look.

I put them on my face and looked in the mirror.  They seemed okay.  Done!  I went to the checkout line, along with a pair of jeans I rustled up along the way.  Jeans that are the right length and fit are rare in my book.  Except for the $100 pair I found at Buckle… and they’re still at Buckle.

I checked out and started stripping all the stickers off the glasses.  I couldn’t wait to put them on when I got outside.  Huh.  Funny.  There were two stickers in the middle of each lens of the sunglasses.  I tried to scrape them off with my fingernail. Wait.  Those weren’t stickers.  I bought bifocal sunglasses!  Horrors!

I had to laugh at myself.  No wonder the “stickers’ wouldn’t peel  off.  They were a permanent fixture on the lens.

Sigh.

I went back inside and waited in line again, this time at Customer Service.  I felt myself getting beet red as I told the nice young man behind the counter what I had done.  He thought it was hilarious.

“Sunglass readers”, he chortled as he read the receipt.  Awesome!

Yep.  I *am* blonde on the inside.

Blame it on the sunshine.

The song is just bonus.  Enjoy!

Purple Flowers

purple crocuses

Can spring be far behind?

I want to drink in all the sunshine and blue skies like a healing elixir.  Where is the cup that’s big enough to quench my thirst? I can’t be outside enough.  The icy wind is no deterrent.  I snapped this photo walking back from the library today.

Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, “An Easter Hymn”

This song sung the long-defunct group called The Choir sums up how I feel today.  Must be the Vitamin D.  “If I had a yard…”

Combo Platter

Eat up!

Today’s post is a bit of a combo platter. A little of yesterday, and a little of today. Enjoy!

Today, I am in Maui.  I can see the ocean from my lanai.  I am watching the trees and bushes bend in the wind.  It’s churning up some whitecaps. The birds flit around actively, collecting leaves and twigs for their nests.  I recognize none of them.  They are as unfamiliar to me as poi, as are their cries and calls.

We are here to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  We got in very late and I am still pretty tired.  The sunshine and gorgeous scenery are reviving me, as is just being with Jonathon.

We are staying in Kihei, which appears to be a desert-type climate here in Hawaii.  But the desert here is right next to the ocean and it’s incredibily humid out.  So…not my idea of a desert. 

But I love it.  Everything feels alive.  The smells of the earth and flowers and sky are all different.  The people are very friendly.  Out on my 3-mile run this morning, almost everyone greeted me like they knew me.  Not used to running in humidity and apparently wearing entirely too many articles of clothing for this pea-soup air climate, I was sweating before I ever left the parking lot of the hotel.  But the ocean.  Ah. How can the same Washington Pacific Ocean, so cold, forbidding and merciless be the same ocean here in Hawaii?  It’s blue and serene and accessible.  People are out surfing, sailing, rowing longboats, you name it.  With the currents in Washington and Oregon and the much colder water temperatures, you’re taking your life in your hands doing any of that.

And yesterday, we were in Portland.  We took Ruby down to do an art camp at my mom’s church for the week.  Zac will stay in Shelton with family and friends.  I went out to do 5 miles of hills in Mom’s neighborhood.  I did hills until I hit the Glendoveer golf course, a lovely spot of green right in the heart of NE Portland. 

There’s a 2.5 mile track that runs around the golf course, a saw-dusted doozy of a trail weaving through old  cedars and pines.  It’s well-used by locals for running and walking.

I set out at about 5:30 a.m.  It’s light so early in the Northwest during summer, I thought I should knock out my workout while I had the time and nobody needed me for anything.  I hit the trail about 5:45.  I thought I would do part of it and then head back down to Mom’s. Well…

I got into a groove on the trail.  It wasn’t particularly hilly, but it was scenic and I didn’t have to worry about traffic.  I encountered an old black man with his walking stick and a couple of other old guys.  I came upon a set of chin-up bars.  Really?  Like I’m going to suddenly have an urge to chin myself.  Anyway, I kept running and then I hit the driving range.  Now what?  The trail disappeared.

I stopped.  I could follow the driving range fence.  It was saw-dusted there, too, albeit in a much wider path.  I looked to my left.  It was paved.  Maybe if I got on that path, it would take me back to the fenceline and I could follow it down to the exit.

I took off.  The asphalt felt better on my feet – less chance of rolling my ankle – but harder on my knees.  I saw plastic bags and places to deposit dog poop and informative signs about it all.  The trail looped around.  And then it just ended.  What now?

I saw another paved path.  That looked promising.  I followed it ofr awhile.  Then it ended.  I stopped again.  And now?  I found an unpaved path that led to a paved path.  Each path started out looking good and then ended without warning or explanation.  Nothing was marked.  I started to figure out the paved paths were for golf carts to run on, and sometimes an extra length was added as a turn-around. This is what I get for not being a golfer.  None of the holes were marked, either.

It got me to thinking about our paths in life.  We may think we know the way.  I sure did!  We run off, cocky and self-assured, along an easy trail.  Then our guidance system fails us – or completely disappears.  We try to figure it out on our own and end up getting more and more lost, like I did.  I did remember where the fenceline should be and I kept taking paths that should’ve led me back there…but didn’t. 

Finally, I’d had enough.  It was getting late.  I took off across the perfectly manicured grass (fun to run on, by the way – springy!) and over the rise to the fence.  I felt bad about running on the grass that I knew was so carefully cultivated so little divoted balls could sail across it sans friction, but I couldn’t see any other way out.  I went back to the plumb line, the level with the bubble in it.  I counted the cost.

And that’s what we have to do when we’re in the wilderness and we’ve lost our way.  Go back to God.  Go back to the user manual, the Bible.  Remember He will do you good and not evil all the days of your life.  He will bring you through and help you find your way home again. It’s never too late.

Hope and a Future

The dream

It looks like Hawaii is on for our 20th anniversary.  I should get paid for all the transcription very soon. And, we should be able to do a refi on our house, which will lower our monthly payment considerably…in 60 days or so. 

Zac wore shorts to school today.  Ruby tried to scoot out the door in red patent leather red wedge sandals. Me?  I drank an iced coffee in hopeful anticipation that we will somehow regain spring.  We’ve done our part.  Now, sunshine, heat and warmth, where art thou?!  Back to fleece. I know it’s out there, though.  That spring!  Teasing and lurking behind all this wind and rain.

Jonathon’s already got work stuff scheduled for his new job – a conference in Spokane early next month.  He’s probably going to be helping with the videoconferencing and technical aspects as well as being an attendee.  He’s excited to get started.

I’m gnoshing a chocolate chip Clif bar.  It’s not bad, considering it’s not really a chocolate chip cookie, which is what I wanted.  But Hawaii looms and I’ve got 7 lbs. to lose.  God provided a way for us to pay for the tickets, a trip we planned more than a year ago! It’s fabulous. I don’t care so much what other people think about how I look at this point.  I just want to be able to look at the pictures later and be proud of how I look now  20 years from now, when I think, “Who WAS that short girl?  Oh wait, that’s me! Did I ever look that good?”

So now, I see we have a hope and a future.  We have things to look forward to, other than getting paid once a week and how to budget for the twice-monthly bill paying and other sundry expenses that come up. We are moving forward and planning ahead.  We can see our way clear to getting out of debt and thinking about college for the kids.  Maybe we can squeeze in a little family vacation this summer at the coast somewhere, too.  S’mores sound awfully good right now. Sigh.

That scripture out of Jeremiah comes to mind:  11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.14 I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

This feels like exactly where we are right now, in the palm of His hand. We haven’t been exiled to another land.  Nothing that extreme has happened, but we are moving back into the place of abundance and promise.  We called, and God answered.  He is so good.  I know there are several people, good friends of mine, who can’t see that goodness right now due to some tough circumstances.  Hold on. Keep hoping and praying. His goodness is coming your way soon.  If He did it for us, He will do it for you.  He loves you so much. His love endures forever.