On Today's Walk: Artistic Expression

Did a two-mile afternoon stroll this afternoon, under cloudy skies this time. I found some interesting art. People find all sorts of ways to be creative.

I’m drawn to rocks and rock balancing. It looks like someone had fun in the woody area next to their house.

A few more blocks and I found this:

The same yard contained an eye-catching rainbow pinwheel.
https://youtu.be/ATNdMKN8VSE

You don’t always need expensive or complicated supplies to create art that speaks to others.

On Today's Walk: Spring Anyway

Despite everything going on in the world with humans and viruses, spring is not in quarantine. It’s a little chilly here, but the sun is out for the first time in days, so I ventured out for some fresh air, taking a short walk around the neighborhood, maintaining space from the many other folks I saw out doing the same thing. To be honest, a friendly wave from the distance is my preferred level of social interaction with most of my neighbors in normal times. Not that I dislike any of them. I’m just awkward and introverted.

I found it interesting that I saw as many pedestrians as cars out today in my mile-and-a-half amble. There’s a silver lining, I suppose.

And there are a few little groceries coming up in my yard and others.

Henbit

Henbit really is edible. I’ve snacked on the flowers myself a number of times. Check out Edible Wild Food for more information on which parts are safe to eat.

I’ve never researched magnolia trees, so I don’t know if they do anything other than look beautiful. If not, that’s enough. The blooms are starting to open.

Magnolia tree

The world continues to function, more or less. Humanity is only a part of it.

On Not Eating the Burned Grilled Cheese

I did not martyr myself to this sandwich

Last Wednesday was a crappy day on many fronts. Work stress, bills to pay, minor but annoying health issues, feeling overwhelmed about my to-do list growing faster than my ability to do, a deep despair over the dawning realization that I’m probably never going to see a woman president in my lifetime. I was torn between the desire to smash things and the desire to go to bed forever. But dinner needed made.

I stood dithering in my kitchen for a long time, trying to settle on what I could muster the energy to cook. My top go-to comfort food is a grilled cheese sandwich. So I decided to go easy on myself. There are only three of us in the household now, and three grilled cheeses are quickly made with little effort. I would put apple slices and strawberries on the side. Good enough.

Wouldn’t you know, I let myself get distracted when the first sandwich was in the skillet. It burned while I was washing and slicing fruit. When I took it out and saw the charred surface, my automatic first thought was, “I guess that one’s mine.”

It’s been my default setting for years. The other members of the family get the good ones of whatever thing is being distributed. I get the pancake that was put in before the griddle was hot enough and isn’t quite right, the egg with the broken yolk, you get the idea. This isn’t done with resentment, but as a programmed response, like a factory setting for moms and wives. The thing is, nobody in family would ever ask me to do this. It’s all on me, usually done with little thought.

But not this time. I had the thought. I even took one bite of the sandwich. Then I took myself in hand and lectured me, “You deserve a decent sandwich. You were making this as comfort food because you’re sad and angry about misogyny, for pity’s sake! And here you’re willing to cheat yourself because you’ve internalized messages saying you’re always the one who has to sacrifice.”

There have been times in my life when I couldn’t afford to throw out a sandwich, no matter how scorched. But at present, we have achieved a financial level where I can use two extra pieces of bread and a couple more slices of cheese without facing penury and ruin.

It might look like a tiny thing, but fighting my own thoughts about how little I’m allowed to need or want is a big step for me. I threw out the burned sandwich and made a different one for myself, perfectly toasted. It was delicious. And liberating.