Following the Crescent

Crescent Bay

We thought we might go surfing here, but as it turned out we had to travel farther afield.


Sweetness Amongst the Fallen

Today has been a day of gathering, in more ways than one.  I'll do a blog about the full weekend later, but for now, a preview of bounty:
apple butter, deconstructed



White on White

I used to bake a fair amount, back before I had to go gluten free and it became too complex a process to be relaxing.  I loved the tactile aspects of it, having my hands covered in flour or sugar...
These Days I settle for chalk



a pig in the dark


Phalanges for Dancing

Just kickin' it with my girl Skully.
...see what I did there?


One Two Five

Nathan and I celebrated five years of marriage this past April, and the traditional gift for year five is wood.  I got him woodworking lessons, and and he got me a wooden ring.


Rose Gold

It's been kind of a screwy summer, to the point where I more or less forgot about the raspberries- at least until I showed Nathan's aunt and uncle around the house, and there they were, just waiting for me.
hundreds of little sweet spots



We made it out to the Farmer's Market again this week, and Nathan got it in his mind to get some pluots.
so we did


Release Me

I have a headache today, but so far I haven't had any luck getting its claws out of my skull.
Naproxen Sodium

Of course, I know what will actually make the headache go away- it's just that I can't seem to do it.  Stop clenching my jaw, I mean.  I am so ridiculously stressed our right now, and it manifests in me gritting my teeth and getting on with things.  ::sigh::


Every Inch of You

A new friend came into the world today:
from the bottom to the top


Harlequin Glorybower

My very favorite tree: we have one in our front yard, but it's not thriving as I might like.


Candid Camera

We celebrated my Oma's 80th birthday today, and while I got many fine photos of my family...
Shy Eaglet

Some of our Bavarian cousins

My brother is skeptical: my nephew is satisfied.

The lady in red is Oma, matriarch of our clan

Boys in blue shadows

Lady and Gentleman

Definitely up to Questionable Good
 ...the photo that I ended up selecting as today's "photo of the day" is this one:

Go home camera: you're drunk
I like it because while it's obvious that I didn't intend to take that photo, it is equally obvious that I am laughing uproariously at whatever good time I'm having.  In specific I'm laughing underneath the pear tree that Nathan, David, and I were rehearsing our rendition of, "What a Wonderful World", while a decidedly pregnant Chelsea chased John around the lawn.

Capturing happy moments: the entire point of this project.



Market Fresh

Big day in the O'Richey-O Household: we took Isis to the Farmer's Market for the first time since the surgery (which was over ten weeks ago, for those not obsessively counting the days), and she did absolutely splendid.  Granted, she decided to go through the Market at a breakneck speed for the first pass- I think because she didn't want to give the Smells a chance to escape.  But then she chilled out a bit and patiently allowed many strangers (both big and little) to pet her, which is pretty much par for the course when we take her out to public places.  Our dog is a pretty little bitch.

There were a lot of yummy things at the Market (again, par for the course), including huge bunches of fresh basil for only two bucks!  The spicy-mint allure of eau de basil was not to be denied, so we bought some and then planned our dinner around it on-the-fly, purchasing as we went...
basalmic joy


Everybody's Talking About It, So Why Don't We?

Here's the thing about dealing with Depression: if you've been dealing with it for long enough (and twenty years is plenty long enough, thanks) you start to recognize the "It's Coming" symptoms.  If you're really lucky, you've also learned to maybe brace yourself a bit for the inevitable.  Knowing that It's Coming means you recognize Depression when it shows up, and recognizing Depression when it shows up is a large part of not falling for the whole, "This is just the way life is, and the way it is, is empty and pointless," shtick that Depression likes to bring along.

For me the warning signs are a combination of factors. First I start to feel more sensitive to things- not emotionally, mind you. Physically. Lights are brighter, sounds are louder, my body feels like it has some low-grade tingly adrenaline running through it at all times, especially through my stomach, and my feet, bizarrely enough. This leads into a bit of a manic period, which isn't so bad. I'm on, and shit gets done, especially Creative Shit. But then it starts to leach away- everything does, but the clearest indicator is the loss of body heat.  I become cold. Always cold. That's how I know that Depression is on the doorstep, if not already inside.

It's inside today. I woke up and there it was, crouched in my chest and making itself comfortable in the over-crowded chambers of my heart. I greeted it with the sort of resigned familiarity that you reserve for particularly unwanted- yet unavoidable- house guests, and then I went back to sleep because dealing with Depression is Exhausting.

That's what I was thinking to myself later, as I was brushing my teeth; I know the things I need to do to battle my Depression, but gods damn it, I get so tired of it. It's so much easier just to give up and give in and stay in bed and sleep until it goes away again. Isn't this just making it worse? my brain whines.  Wouldn't succumbing to the Depression be so much easier than this constant trying?

Obviously it would be. But I've already set up my Auto-Pilot Program, and by gods I'm going to keep running it. Show up at Work, do the Things, send the Emails.  Smile when you talk and make Jokes and go through the fucking motions.

I resent every moment of it. I have every right to be Depressed, sulks my brain, and it's just bullshit that I'm not allowing myself to wallow.

No, I say right back, in that voice that sounds suspiciously like my mother's. I have a right to be sad. I do not have a right to derail my life, not while other people count on me. And they do.

Some lessons take root deeper than others. Deeper than Depression can reach, down past the brain and the blood and the heart and the bones, down into whatever it is that will be inside of me for as long as there is a me.  Sometimes my ability/tendency to shut off my emotions in favor of logic is a frightening thing to me, because it makes me feel less human than the people around me.  Other times I think it's the only thing that allows me to continue functioning, especially in the face of Depression, which overwhelms so many other aspects of my Self.

Anyway there's no real point to this entry- it's just me processing things with words, as I do.  And this too, shall pass.

It always does.

Not MY Birthday

It's not my birthday, but it is someone's birthday, a someone of whom I'm awfully fond.
I bought this gluten-free cupcake based on sheer prettiness.  Too bad the taste didn't live up to the color.



I won a gift certificate to Vinnie's Pizza the other day, so Nathan and I decided to check it out.  It was delicious!  Definitely a great gluten free crust, the lack of which is what keeps us from frequenting any other downtown pizza joint.

Anyhoo, hanging out in downtown is always fun, not the least of which because there are all sorts of sculptures.  Here's one of my favorites, right outside of Vinnie's:
come back, rain

I sure do love my town.


Where Shall We Go?

The Pig has reached the point in her healing where she gets to do PT walks three times a day.  Each one is supposed to last ten minutes (this week, anyway), and we try to vary our route each time so that they continue to be exiting for her.
the evening walks are the best


Sing Softly of Us Sinners

It was a small, quiet sort of Boozeday Tuesday this evening.  I spent a great deal of it with a baby in my arms, and that's okay.


Burning in the Night

It was hot today.  Unacceptably hot.  Alabama hot.

So hot that we've dragged the futon mattress into the living room and are planning on sleeping next to our air conditioning unit, because it's after 9pm and our bedroom still registers over 90 degrees.
night light

It's miserable.



that's what it is


In the Crack

We headed out to climb Coethedral today and had a little adventure- I may throw up a post about it later, but in the meantime, enjoy this tiny little succulent I found in the rocks.
Soooo teeny!


Head and Heart Remain

Sometimes you get really lucky and find a perfectly preserved bird skull in your front yard.  But then you can't decide how best to process the photo of it:



We were sitting around, not doing much of anything, when some friends called us up and told us we really needed to get out to Rusty Grape and have pizza with them.
turns out they were right



still delicious


Garnet Glow

Boozeday Tuesday had a bit of a venue change tonight.
pomegranate cider ftw!


Twice as Nice

Today is another one of those days where I liked two of the processes I ran my photo through:
Bleed for Me
So Super Bright!
In related news, I sure do love nectarines.  All stone fruits, really.



Working on a piece for my friends' wedding:
The colors are still in progress, but as you can imagine there is a lot of PINK involved...


Off With the Old, On With the New

Got myself a new pair of climbing shoes, and I can't wait to try them out!  As much as I love the performance of my Miura VSs, the last they're formed on just doesn't quite work with my feet, so I thought I'd try something new.  I put on a pair of Anasazi LVs and they were sooooo comfy that I was immediately sold.  I can't wait to try them out!  Oh wait I said that already!  Because I'm that excited!
They're a less aggressive shoe, which means I'll have to climb better, but that's alright: I want to climb better.


Stranger to the Bone

This is a post about my body.

No, this is a post about how my body looks.

No, this is a post about how I feel about how my body looks.

And it's a topic which has been weighing heavily on my mind, lately.  So this post is about exploring how I feel, and if I accidentally offend anyone with my stumbling words, I beg you to understand that I don't mean to be insensitive or hurtful with any of this.  I'm just in a strange place right now.
lemme take a selfie

I haven't always been in the best shape.  I did pretty well throughout childhood and most of adolescence: I was a swimmer and active and it showed.  But then came senior year, and knee surgery, and enforced idleness followed by a lingering terror of re-injuring myself, followed by yet another knee surgery barely a year later... long story short, I was overweight for quite some time- like six years quite some time.  It took a devastating breakup and completely losing and re-finding myself (and surfing) to give me the tools I needed to take my own physical fitness in hand.  And I did.  And I still do.  Because it's important to me to be healthy and fit and strong, but beyond all those noble things, it's important that I look good naked and be physically desirable to myself.  That's right, myself.  Sure it's nice to get compliments from other individuals, and I know my husband thinks I'm sexy no matter how much additional jiggle I have, but the person whose head I'm really trying to turn is my own*.

(Hey, we've all got our own fitness motivations, eh?)

And to be honest, for the past five years or so, one of the reasons I've felt like I need to not just be fit but look fit is because I'm not a mother.  Because in my head it's okay for mothers to be soft.  Their bodies have gone through this amazing wringer, and they came out on the other side with a brand new human, and a body that reflects that rite of passage.  Moms earn their bodies and they have every right to have less-than-perky boobs, and less-than-taut tummies, and they are beautiful and amazing and who the hell has time to work out for two hours every day when you're feeding something every four hours!  But me?  I didn't have a kid, so I didn't have any outside (inside?) influences on my shape.  The only thing changing my body was me.

Except... that's not true anymore.

Pregnancy changed my body.  Both times.  And the first time around it was only a few weeks worth of change, and things went back to normal fairly quickly.  This time, however?  Some of the changes seem a little more permanent.  Here it is, two months after the miscarriage, and my breasts remain larger than they were pre-pregnancy.  My belly remains rounded.  My hips remain widened.  That last one is not something I can "work back into shape".  It is a new shape, a strange shape.  A strange new shape that doesn't come with a strange new human.  And I'm... not really sure how I feel about it.

Oh, I know how I ought to feel about it.  Love and support for this body that has carried me through so much.  But knowing how you ought to feel very rarely has anything to do with how you do feel.  Sure, I can fake it until I make it, and I will, but sometimes you just want to take a moment and acknowledge how fucked up a situation is before you go back to ripping the silver linings out of it.

The breasts are annoying.  The belly is depressing.  The hips are... weird.  I spent 33 years with only the barest hint of hips, and now suddenly I have to pay attention to how I pull a dress on, lest I get stuck.  It's just strange.  I know I will get used to the breasts, and I will get rid of the belly, and as for the hips... well I suppose I'll get used to them eventually, too.  Of course, one of my girlfriends (who made it all the way through pregnancy into motherhood) told me it took a full year for her hips to go back.  So maybe there's hope for that, too, in the long run.

But is that even what I want?  For my bones to creep back to what they were?  Or do I want them to stay, the last lingering evidence of something that might have been?

I don't know.

*(I recognize that I'm a bit of a hypocrite with this, in that I cut others a lot more slack with their bodies than I do with my own in terms of what I find sufficiently attractive to get down with.  I think that's because the more I like someone, the more attractive I find them physically, regardless of how insulated their six pack is.  But I'm way too familiar with myself and my own bullshit to fall for any of my own personality-based charm: thus I must rely solely on the physical charms, which of course sets the standards higher.)  (Does that even begin to make sense?)