My Languishing Blog

My blog has been neglected. When I started blogging in 2012, I was very enthusiastic about the idea. I don’t know that I am less interested than I used to be, but for a long while, I seem to have lost something to say.

I think I have lost my muse. I’m not sure if I ever had one. But, nonetheless, nothing – nothingness. It has given me a few sleepless nights wondering what has changed.

Yet, I have started to feel a tug back to this place. I miss my blog and I miss the bloggers I used to follow.

Only my small toe is in the water, but I am ready to take the plunge. And resurface.Rockport - Halibut State Park watermark

Cee’s Share Your World – Week 4

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Take a blog hop over to Cee’s Share Your World to participate:

Do you prefer juice or fruit?

I prefer fruit. I like watermelon, strawberries, and peaches, the best. Even though that is true, I eat bananas more than any other fruit. I rarely drink fruit juices.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in a mid-sized city if we are talking population, more like a big town. It was about sixty square miles and parts of it were (and probably still are) very agricultural. It has grown in population since I grew up there. I lived in a neighborhood that was once farmland and there were a couple of fields left behind where we could run and play. There was a wooded area that was a great shortcut to my grandparent’s house and the junior high school. We could ride our bikes downtown and to the pool. I walked to school until I could drive, except for the ninth grade when I rode a bus across town. That was the only year my school was too far away to walk. I lived in the same house the entire time I was growing up. I liked it well enough. I didn’t know anything different.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

Maybe a blue-gray, a nice calm color, for the first sixteen years. I had a happy enough childhood. My mother was controlling and hyper-critical, so I was very well-behaved and not much of a risk taker. I did not want to get into trouble.

Then, when I was seventeen, I got my driver’s license and a car – an almost new 1972 Super Beetle (thanks to my grandfather). Here we are looking at a color change. The paint would be a brighter blue. I wasn’t exactly a wild child after I got my car, but I had a lot more freedom and a lot more fun. (This is just a model VW in the photo. Mine was orange.)

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When I was old enough to have an opinion about the color of my bedroom, I painted the walls bright yellow with red-orange on the wood trim. That was the actual color I lived in during my childhood. I shared the room with my sister, so she gets half the credit.

Ways to Relax List: Make a list of what relaxes you and helps you feel calm.

  1. The first thing on my list is a walk outside. That usually relaxes me better than anything else. After that, it really depends on whether I am anxious or just winding down. For the most part, I think I am fairly relaxed these days. It is a matter of practicing acceptance with almost everything. If I’m not fighting with the rest of the world, life is a lot more peaceful. A little prayer and meditation every morning helps.
    2. Reading a book.
    3. Watching something funny on television, because laughing makes me feel good, and if I feel good, I relax.
    4. Editing photos.
    5. Deep breathing.
    6. Laying down on my bed can be very relaxing. It is super comfortable.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful for my Fitbit Charge 2 that my husband bought for me. It is helping me track my exercise (I wasn’t moving as much as I thought), my calories, and my sleep.

This week, I am looking forward to getting together with a friend of mine for tea.

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Cee’s Share Your World – Week 3

I didn’t make it to my blog at all last week. In fact, I didn’t turn my laptop on for at least five days. So, I am going to start this week, as I plan to do most Mondays, participating in Cee’s Share Your World.

  1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? I always close the closet door before getting in bed. I like it closed all of the time. My husband has other ideas.
  2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? Never. And I usually pack my own when I travel.
  3. What is your usual bedtime? I don’t always go to bed at the same time every night. It depends on whether or not my husband and I are watching television together. I tend to fall asleep around 11:30 most nights. (This post has kept me up later than usual.)

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  4. Do you like to use post-it notes? When I was in college, I used post-it notes in my text books for studying. Now, I rarely use them. I don’t think we have them in the house.
  5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Handwritten letters are a real pleasure to receive. It takes some extra effort to write a letter and place it in the mail. I think the last letter I wrote on paper was around 2006. I wrote a letter to my husband’s Aunt Amanda. It is possible that I wrote to her once or twice since then, but I especially remember the first letter I sent her. I send note cards with some regularity to family members.
  6. Any phobias? These two phobias are rather common. Claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces. Acrophobia – fear of heights. I have experienced claustrophobia or maybe agoraphobia that caused me to have a panic attack. It was the 2011 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, which is held on Broad Street. As night began to fall, the crowd was gathering around the main event – Compagnie Transe Express circus – an aerial acrobatic and musical performance. The front of the crowd stopped in place, while the rear of the crowd kept moving forward. I was somewhere in the middle. As the people pushed and shoved, I began to feel fear rising. I calmly told my husband that I had to get out of there NOW. He tried to reassure me that everything was okay several times, but it was to no avail. I was certain that I was trapped and about to be trampled. I couldn’t breathe. It is really difficult to explain the terror of the moment. My husband finally knew he had no choice and he pushed through the mob calling out: Woman having a panic attack! Woman having a panic attack! We made it out to a clearing on a side street. Obviously, I wasn’t as trapped as I believed.  I never did see the performance. Thankfully, I don’t have panic attacks anymore.
  7. How tall are you? Five feet tall. Call me Stretch. I have to do a lot of that to reach things in places most people take for granted.time-illusion-xor-2-gp-watermark

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Temptation

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When thinking about temptation, my first thoughts go to chocolate. That is a nice safe topic. Not today. Today my temptation is not so innocent. It is about a behavior that I find unattractive in others, and yet, I want to engage in it right now. I’m not proud. If anything, let this encourage all of us to be kind when we speak about other people.

One of my pet peeves is gossip. Gossip is defined by Timothy Hallett, associate professor in the Indiana University sociology department…as “the unsanctioned evaluative talk about people who aren’t present.” (NY Times, 06/16/2012) In other words, it is me judging another person, and then going behind their back to tell others what I think about them.

Is there such a thing as good gossip and bad gossip? Gossip can help people to bond because it is a social activity. Good, right? Gossip can protect others from “being exploited by passing on information about bad behavior to warn others.” That is a benefit to the gossipers, so good, right? But, is that fair to the object of gossip? If someone’s reputation is hurt, that’s bad, right? I bite my tongue. I try to ascribe to the old saying – If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

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I was tempted to gossip about someone. I gave into that temptation and wrote about it here in this post. Then I erased it. This revised version is missing some content and that feels much better. 

The photos are watermarked and cropped small because it is my daughter and a friend enjoying friendship – not gossip. I try to protect personal images as much as possible. Please don’t copy them.

The Daily Post: Daily Prompt

 

Cee’s Share Your World – Wk #1

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Would you prefer to receive a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle?

I already own a bicycle, so I’m all set. A tricycle made for an adult seems like more cycle than I care to pedal, especially up a hill. There are a lot of hills around here. I think motorcycles can be fun, but the traffic where I live is a nightmare, so no thank you. I really prefer to walk.

What is one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?

I’d like to improve at photography, from composition to taking and developing raw images.

What was one of the highlights of 2016 for you?

Vacationing in Maine with our family was absolutely one of the highlights of 2016. Those two little people in the photo are my grandsons. Even though the clouds have mostly blocked any sunshine, it was a hot day.

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Would you prefer to fly a kite or fly in a hot air balloon?

Fly a kite. My husband and I both own kites. He used to have a stunt kite. They are a lot of fun. This year, we bought an inexpensive kite to fly with our grandsons. They loved it.

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Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Our son and his wife flew in for a visit over the New Year weekend. Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons came over and we celebrated Christmas on Saturday. Sunday, we went to a local restaurant to watch the Patriot’s game – they won. We celebrated with two desserts. Our daughter-in-law made a Devil’s Food cake with a caramel buttercream frosting one night. It was delicious. Our daughter made dinner on Monday night and served cannoli. Yummy. If you read last week’s Share Your World, you might remember that baked goods are my guilty pleasure and I ate all of it. I am grateful for everything, except the five pounds I gained.

This week, I am looking forward to returning to a normal diet.

This was our Maine retreat. I have noticed that if I open my post in the Reader, the featured image is not part of my post, so I am placing it at the end of the post, as well.

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Participating in Cee’s Share Your World.

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Dark and Light

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This beautiful centerpiece was a Christmas gift from our son and daughter-in-law.

The featured image above the post title is sunset in D.C.

Participating in: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Dark and Light

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Peeking in the window of the Air and Space Museum.

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Washington Monument at sunset.

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Cee’s Share Your World – Week 52

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Click here to participate in: Cee’s Share Your World.

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor? 

My favorite ice cream flavor is Vanilla Bean. It used to be chocolate, but now it runs a close second. Every summer we go to a local place that has soft serve, and I get a vanilla chocolate twist. I eat ice cream almost every single day.

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to? 

A luxury condo in the city and a house on the beach.

Have you ever been drunk?

Yes. I used to enjoy the feeling. Then I didn’t. Sometimes it was fun. Sometimes it wasn’t. I no longer drink alcohol.

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Complete this sentence: My favorite supposedly guilty pleasure is… 

Baked goods. Chocolate brownie sundae from Clyde’s (a local restaurant). Chocolate cake. Tiramisu. Creme brulee. Peach cobbler. Chocolate chip cookies. I rarely keep baked goods in the house. I love to indulge once in a while.

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Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week I spent one day in Washington, D.C. with my friend, Kindred Spirit. We visited the Basilica and the Botanical Gardens. It was a long day of walking and picture taking. Spending the day with a good friend, no matter where we go, is always a reason to feel grateful. (The photo is the Capitol building.)

This week, our son and his wife are flying in to visit for Christmas.

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Animals – Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge

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Wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs, long ago left on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, still live on its northern most beaches. These horses used to run free throughout the islands, but as houses were built and more and more people arrived, the horses were being put at risk of being hit by cars. They are now free to roam in a preservation area that can be reached easily if you have four-wheel drive. There are homes within the horse preserve and the horses are used to people. However, they are wild, and graze on the native vegetation. People are forbidden to feed them. I cropped the above photo to create the two pictures that follow.

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I took this photo of a cow and a nursing calf a couple of years ago, here in Virginia. There aren’t any cows left in my community, but they can be found nearby.

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Below are sheep, a llama, a lot of geese and a heron – also, here in Virginia. There is still plenty of farmland south and west of where I live.

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Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge

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France In Virginia

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My friend and I often eat at this casual French cafe when we go to lunch. We have occasionally dined elsewhere, but this is our favorite spot. It is somewhere between our two geographic addresses and we can sit and talk for hours. I often order the same meal. My favorite is the Crepes Romanoff.

It is very rustic and cozy, with a blazing fireplace in one of the rooms. There are large wooden library doors, beams on the ceiling, cast iron, brick and wood framed windows. Of course, I can’t find the photos of the dining area, so next trip, I’ll have to remedy that problem and take more.

When you go into the restroom, you get a French lesson. Yes, there is tape playing that will teach you to count and phrases you can use in the cafe, even though there is no need. Everyone speaks English here. But, the lesson is fun. And I haven’t learned a word of French, although it is a beautiful language. (I am making a stab at learning Italian.)

Last week, the restaurant was decked out for Christmas, with a special holiday menu.

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In keeping with the casual theme, we order food cafeteria style and then when it is cooked, a waiter brings it to the table.

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I don’t have a passport. I know that probably horrifies many of you, but it is true. I don’t like to fly. I dislike ships even more than planes. French restaurants might be as close as I ever get to France. And I am perfectly okay with that – for now. Maybe one day that will change.

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