Play Day

I need a play day. Being a grownup is a lot of work and not enough play. As a grownup I find that I don’t make enough time for fun. When this goes on too long and I don’t pay attention then usually I end up getting sick. So really a play day is a good health day.

Today I’m trying to take a play day. I started the day by taking my time which in itself is such a wonderful luxury! I sat and had more than one cup of tea and the one I’m having right now is a delicious specialty blend that I bought at a tea shop. It is cocoa caramel sea salt tea and how can I possibly feel like a responsible adult while sipping on this? I can’t!

While sipping my tea I watched two (two!) episodes of Star Trek, Next Generation instead of the news. Yes, I’m a Trekkie. I have been all of my life. Watching a fun show makes me feel like a kid.

I have discovered that I’m not very good at play days and I have to work at having one which seems ironic. Despite my best intentions, I still have things that I have to get done whether I want to or not. So in keeping with the childlike frame of mind I want to maintain today I am doing a lot of grumbling and whining about having to do my chores. Little by little I am getting things done like laundry and stuff. Ugh.

However, I am determined to play. How? Well the great thing about being a grownup is that I have a lot of options! I can play video games, I can color, I can read, I can write, I can watch a movie; all of which sound fun and best of all none of which I have to do. I think that’s the key. Finding something fun to do, something enjoyable. Doing something that I think about doing a lot and keep telling myself that I will when I have time. And how often does that time come up? Almost never. 

I have been given a lot of coloring books to choose from. Fun!

I have been given a lot of coloring books to choose from. Fun!

So I am making time today. Playing enough to take my mind away from all thoughts about what I should be doing. Forgetting about time for a while. Doing something so enjoyable that I will realize that a few hours have gone by without my noticing.

What do you do when you play? What brings out the carefree kid in you?

Wish me luck! Because I am going to go play before I think of something I should be doing!

Super Bowl Confession

I’m not really a football fan. I know! I can hear your collective gasps of shock! I happen to catch bits and pieces of a game when somebody else has it on the TV during football season. And I hear who is going for the Super Bowl. And I even know which teams are playing this year! (The Falcons and the Patriots) Otherwise, I really don’t care.

However, what I do like about the Super Bowl is how it pulls the country together in a big way. I love how it is so American! I can’t help but get into the excitement. I enjoy seeing people excited about this game and the fun rivalries that happen. (It is a game, people!)

I love the rituals. The flying of the flag, the singing of the National Anthem, the fly-over of the Thunderbirds, the coin toss and the first kick-off and play of the game.

I admit that I look forward to the commercials; the only time I can say that.

I love the half-time show.

I enjoy empathizing with the players knowing that this game is the dream of a lifetime for all of them and trying to imagine how that feels. We get a glimpse of that when they show their excitement when a play goes their way.

I also find it fascinating that there is a primal level to this game. The love of a battle and winning at all costs. The adrenaline you can see in the players’ eyes. This game is a wonderful outlet for those primitive urges.

As far as the entire game goes, I usually listen to it and glance at it when it seems there is a big play happening.

I love that people gather for parties, food and camaraderie.

There is a feeling in the air of fun and patriotism.

So even though I’m not really a big football fan, I do enjoy the Super Bowl.

No matter who wins, I hope all of you enjoy it. Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Coloring

As I’m sure most of you have noticed there is a lot in the media about adult coloring and the benefits of this activity. Just type in ‘benefits of coloring for adults’ in your browser and see all the results that show up. Coloring helps you relax, focus and be more mindful. We could all use more of that! 

Fish

Fish

First I have to say that I’ve always colored and have adult coloring books from years ago before it was the ‘in’ thing to do, so this is nothing new for me.

What I do like is the wonderful variety of good quality coloring books that are being published now. Have you looked at any? And the variety of topics is almost overwhelming. But fun!

I got one of these new books last fall when we were in the middle of moving. The only change I made is that I treated myself to a big box of colored pencils and a cheap sharpener. I know some people use magic markers, some use watercolor pencils and some still use crayons. Why not combine a few of these tools and see what happens?

Since last fall, I have been given four more of these books. I now have enough coloring books to last me for years!

I agree with the experts that this is a great way to relax. I don’t watch a lot of TV and when I do I feel like I’m wasting time but coloring while watching TV is a great combination. Or while listening to a radio show or podcast.

Forest Stump

Forest Stump

One thing I have learned is that you can’t rush these things. You need to slow down and take your time. Take your time in picking out an illustration that attracts your attention. Then look at it for a while and see if you can imagine what color would look the best in each area. When you do start coloring, have fun experimenting with the pressure you put on the pencil. Start out light and increase the pressure which makes the color more brilliant. Try combining colors. Do some shading to give a more three-dimensional look to your picture. Experiment!

Some of these pictures are very intricate so don’t rush it. I’ve only finished a few so far but there is no time limit on these. Take your time.

I’ve found that having a piece of scrap paper nearby helps to sample the colors before you use them. Or do what I do and scribble little samples on the edges of the last pages in the books if you have one that has blank spots for this use.

Whale

Whale

Don’t restrict yourself to making the subject look real. Who says an elephant has to be gray or the sky has to be blue? Go crazy and make it your own!

Remember when you used to lie on your stomach on the floor as a kid and color for hours? Find a comfortable position or chair and start coloring.

Most of all, have fun.

Sky Love-Clouds

I’ve always loved the sky. Day and night. As a kid I did that stereotypical thing of lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds. I still do but not nearly as often as I should or would like to.

Any time of the day or night there is beauty above us. It’s ever-changing and always flowing. I think it reminds me of how tiny we are on this little planet in the universe hurtling through space and what a miracle it is to be here at all.

I’m been amazed at the sky where we live now. I think because it’s so open and I can see so much of it at once that it keeps fascinating me.

The clouds are magnificent.

I know when I was a preteen we lived for a short time in Wisconsin and I have never seen mountainous clouds like I did there when the thunderheads were growing a storm.

One of my favorite experiences was a day spent in the mountains of Colorado with my brother. We were hiking back down the mountain trail because storms were building in the heat of the day and you don’t want to be in a lightning storm up there. The sun was still out with clouds in the distance. At one point we stopped because the view was breathtaking. There was feeling of reverence. We sat on a boulder looking out over a valley and watched a cloud growing. It was literally growing before our eyes. There was no sound except the wind and we felt like we were the only ones in the world to witness this beauty. It was a spiritual experience.

More recently, I visited family in Colorado again and in thinking about this post decided to take pictures from the air. Flying over this country is amazing anyway but I was thrilled by the variety of clouds I saw in that one trip.

And now my obsession with the sky has been in overdrive because of where I’m living. With so many rolling fields the view of the sky here is huge. I think it’s the grandeur of it all. It gives me that feeling of being tiny in a powerful universe filled with beauty. Again, it feels like a spiritual experience. This has been happening frequently. I hope I never take it for granted.

15

Spring moving in.

No matter where you are, the sky is always there.

We live crazy busy lives but I hope you can take a few minutes to look up and enjoy the view.

Skylights

One of the many things I am learning from moving is appreciating the details. One of the details that I have in this new house is a skylight. Two of them actually. It may seem like a silly thing but this is something I’ve never had before and love the idea of letting more light into the house.

It reminds me of the ceiling in the Great Hall in Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series. That ceiling always shows what is going on outside; whether it’s day or night, sunny or snowing. My skylights are doing the same thing and its magical.

Since I moved in I have been in love with the skylights. They let in as much light as I had hoped. The angles of them are fascinating. They flare out from the roof so there are no boring angles. And when the sun hits them they leave the most wonderful playgrounds of shadow and light. 

Sunlight & Frost

Sunlight & Frost

 

I catch myself stopping to see where the light is hitting at various times of the day and realize that this will be an ever-changing progression to watch as the angle of the sun changes constantly. How amazing!

I love being able to look up and see the sky. Or watch as clouds slide by. My favorite so far has been looking up one night and seeing the full moon in one of them. I wish I had taken a picture!

I wonder if I will ever get used to the sound of rain tapping on the glass above? Or waking on a sunny winter morning to see them filled with Jack Frost’s artwork? (Rise of the Guardians fans will understand the importance of acknowledging Jack Frost!)

Frost Art

Frost Art

During the blizzard last month it was fun to see how quickly they were covered with snow making our home a warm, calm cocoon in that wild storm. And then observing how one melted away quickly while the other one stayed covered for a few days.

I look forward to many years of seeing what these snapshots of the sky show me.

The Wisdom of Kittens

Just for fun, this is a small list of watching kittens exploring the new world they find themselves in. We can look at the world like it’s all new again when we watch the young do this.  I hope you enjoy some of these things in your own life. What would you add to this list?

-Look at anything new that crosses your path with curiosity and wonder. Then play with it!

A box and tissue paper. Amazing!

A box and tissue paper. Amazing!

-Play a lot.

-Remember to notice even the simple things in life. Take nothing for granted.

So that's the sky!

So that’s the sky!

-Enjoy the comforts life offers like a big warm pile of laundry. 

Warm clothes.

Warm clothes.

-Sometimes you just have to run at full speed because you are so full of the energy of life! Plus its fun.

-Play until you can’t keep your eyes open for another second.

-Eliminate the negatives in your life by swiping at it, slapping it, shaking it until it can’t hurt you anymore.

-Get plenty of rest.

-Cuddle with a friend. 

Cuddling

Cuddling

-Take care of the ones you love.

Kitten Confession

One reason I haven’t been posting is because I have been obsessed with kittens.

We have had two cats in our family and they were both males. We adopted the first one when he was about 6 to 8 months old. Magic was with us for 13 years. Shortly after he died, we adopted Jake when he was a few years old. We enjoyed him for about five years until he died last year. I thought I was done having cats because it was so painful when they left.

As time passed, I have missed having a cat in the house. A gal I met in my writing group started a cat rescue in her home. I followed the progress of the rescue.

I’m a believer that cats find their forever homes and choose their people. I knew that if I was meant to have one I would recognize the signs.

My husband and I decided to get a kitten. We’ve never had a kitten and thought it might be a good idea since we would like a cat that will be happy traveling with us in our motor home. We figured a kitten would adjust to how we live right from the beginning.

The obsession started in April when I saw a picture like this posted on Facebook on the Fosterlings page. Sierra I saw this face and couldn’t stop looking at her. Then when I heard that her name was Sierra, I knew that was my sign. There’s a lot of reasons for that which I won’t bore you with but suffice it to say that everything clicked.

I went to meet Sierra April 17th.

Sierra at almost 4 weeks old.

Sierra at almost 4 weeks old.

 While I was there I met the rest of her litter. A little gray tabby named Tango kept crawling into my lap. I pondered the idea of getting two but dismissed it as a crazy thought. Plus I didn’t want another male. But he sure was cute!

Tango & Sierra

Tango & Sierra

A week later I brought my husband to meet Sierra, who I was already smitten with! Well, didn’t Tango climb into both of our laps and steal our hearts! Long story short, we decided to adopt them both.

A couple of weeks later we found out that Tango, who we had renamed Rocky (we had a mountain theme going here, see?) was a girl! Since she was so changeable, we named her Mystique, or Misty for short. (Misty continues the mountain theme since there are the Misty Mountains in the Lord of the Rings books which are my favorites!) Now we had two sisters that we loved.

I spent the months of April and May obsessed with these two adorable fur balls. We couldn’t wait to bring them home! On May 25th we did.

Sierra & Mystique

Sierra & Mystique: first day home.

Sierra and Mystique were all I was thinking about and doing. They kept me busy and smiling.

This is what they look like now. They are growing like crazy!

Sierra & Misty 7/31/15

Sierra & Misty 7/31/15

Now that we have had these fun furry people living with us for a couple of months and we are all settled in I can think about other things like writing.

I’ll try not to overdo the kitten posts but I can’t make any promises.

By the way, check out Fosterlings website. They do wonderful work in finding homes for cats and kittens.