Monday, July 31, 2017

And Thus It Begins...

Sleep has been in short supply for me lately, so I kept my to-do list brief today. All I had to do was grab some groceries, and make Bristol some rice for his upset tummy. Anything beyond these basic chores will make me feel like I'm Wonder Woman, for a little while, anyway.

Poor baby Bristol. He hasn't been feeling very well.

When I entered the grocery store, I made a beeline for the fragranced candles. I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I start noticing a shift in the seasons that is all but imperceptible to most. There I was, looking at the selection when I saw what I knew I had come for: PUMPKIN WAFFLE scent. A big, fat, three-wicked candle was mine for the taking (and paying), and then it was time to do what I came to do; get food!

Things were going well; milk, half and half, cottage cheese, yogurt. Wait, what was THAT? Pumpkin Pie flavored yogurt? Already? Get in my cart, you cute little thing. I will indulge in you later today while I'm inhaling the aroma of my new autumn candle. 

I knew this was coming; it always happens at the end of July for me. Last year I was burning MULLED CIDER CANDLES right before August. Just last week, I baked up my first batch of CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE (AKA, Buff Pumpkin Stuff).  Oh, I do love pumpkin spice in all its forms.

Am I jumping the gun? Of course, I am; I always do. I love shopping for autumn things during the summer, and Christmas things in fall. I figure I get to enjoy two seasons at once that way. 

Don't worry, I intend to enjoy every last minute of this summer season, but I'm going to do it surrounded by the flavor and scent of pumpkin spice everything. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some sleeping to catch up on.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Almost Ready to Listen

An English muffin, overflowing with butter and honey was sitting on the cork bed of a Birkenstock sandal. It made perfect sense, until it didn't. I recognized it for what it was. Blessed sleep would be overtaking me since my thoughts were approaching a dream-like state.

Sleep has been so elusive lately, and I just haven't felt like my usual happy self. My insomnia has been getting the better of me. I have wandered through my days, checking things off my lists in a haphazard manner, wandering from task to task. Most mornings saw me heading back to bed before noon, if only for a little cat nap before lunch. And afternoon snoozes were becoming a thing, too.

When we don't get enough sleep, we don't think logically, and we might even act irrationally. Maybe that's just me. I tend to act like a very large toddler when I am overtired. 

When Chuck asked me to go with him to see the work the tree removal company had done in the backyard, I hesitated. I have loved all of the lush foliage in our yard, and the shade it provides. I followed him to the back of the house, but I was not prepared for the sight. Sunlight flooded into our family room and kitchen like bright spotlights. We looked out of our bay window. Where once stood a tall, shady locust tree, there was now a sad, little stump, level with our deck. I began to cry.

Like I said, I'm just not myself.

While talking to my husband on his commute home yesterday, he noticed I was coughing a lot. Was I? I hadn't noticed. I decided to take some cough syrup, and while I was at it, I took my temperature. It was over 99, and for a girl whose temp is usually under 97, I realized I just might be getting sick. Great. We had fun plans tonight, going to the youth theatre to take pictures. The faire is this weekend. I can't get sick.

For nearly two weeks, I have been out of sorts. My mood has been pretty flat. There has been no major disappointment; I just feel so blah.

My blog has been sitting stagnant for a week and a half. No, I haven't been writing. This week I haven't even felt like editing pictures, but I made sure the head shots for the theater were submitted.

With all of the rain, my daily walks with Sami had become sporadic, and there was so much mud to contend with every time the puppies had to go outside. I managed to sweep up the debris a few times, but I only mopped once.

My eating has been non-stop, and very unsatisfying. My clothes feel tighter, and that never helps my mood.

My Cameras and Coffee plans fell through, which is probably just as well. I don't think I would have been very good company for my friend.

I've been trying to read more, and spend less time online. Each morning I have tried to make sure I start the day with a very nutritious breakfast, knowing my eating plan unravels throughout the day when I feel like this. Fresh tomatoes have been featured at lunch. It's just all of the in-between meals eating that has been excessive.

My daughter suggested I listen to some uplifting podcasts, which was a great idea. I chose to listen to Andy Stanley, but I will need to try again. My brain was overloaded, and couldn't comprehend it all in one sitting.

Last night, I went to bed at 7:00 when Chuck went to the theater without me. I finally fell asleep after eight, and managed to stay asleep until 5:30. Then I went back to bed for about four hours before lunch. This afternoon I have gone from recliner to bed to recliner.

For me, I know it's time for some reflection. What am I doing right? What needs to change? Are there things that would make me feel better that I am neglecting to do? There is something to be learned from this discomfort. I think I am almost ready to listen to find out what it is.

A good night's sleep will be most welcome. May there be more English muffins on Birkenstocks in my near future, or whatever my subconscious brain wants to put together to usher me into dreamland.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Is Everyone at Bristol Beautiful?"

"Is everyone at Bristol beautiful?" a friend asked me recently.

People often notice that the pictures we post from the Bristol Renaissance Faire feature gorgeously radiant subjects. Our lenses are drawn to these people, whether they are cast members, staff, or patrons. People from all walks of life are represented in our photographs; every age group, a variety of cultures and races, and all shapes and sizes. 

My photo albums are full of beautiful people. I thought for a moment before I responded to my friend's question. They do seem to have one thing in common.

"The people at Bristol are happy, and when people are happy, they look beautiful."

These are some of my favorite photos that capture the happiness that translates to beauty at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. 

You tell me; is everyone at Bristol beautiful?

Even the witches are beautiful at Bristol. They are usually smiling and laughing too much to be scary.
(Please, Bristol, bring back the witches. We NEED the witches.)