Spring Cleaning

Yes, I’ve been neglecting you. I’m sorry. If it makes you feel any better, it’s not because I’ve been having any fun. I’ve been occupied with things like shampooing the carpet (over and over and over–thanks dog), the area rugs, spot cleaning upholstery, oiling the wood furniture, and applying touch-up paint here and there. And the front yard? Weeded, mowed, watered, fed, edged, and bark-o-mulched. Why this out-of-character cleaning binge? A couple of reasons actually. 1) I feel the need to get a job, maybe even a full time job, once the school year starts. If such a fate comes to pass, I’d like to have the house & yard cleaned up before paid employment starts sucking away most of my waking hours. 2) Even if I don’t find the career of my dreams in the near future, Halloween is only a couple of months away (the official start of the holiday season, as far as we are concerned). This year, through some sort enchantment, Halloween falls on a Friday. Yeah! It’s our household’s biggest and busiest holiday; because of the weekend timing, this year it will probably include a sleepover for half the neighborhood kids and a slightly drunken debauch for their parents. And I’d like to start with a clean palate (in terms of the carpet) before I have to clean up the unspeakable aftermath.

In cat news, our boy is at the vet’s being neutralized today. And not a minute too soon. Think a good thought for him. (***wipes away a sentimental tear***) They grow up so fast!

Starter Kit

Fore Sale: Kitten head. Slightly used. Reasonable. (Body sold separately).

So, a brief report on the weekend. I did two things this weekend that I haven’t done in many years. First, I drew a picture, something I probably haven’t done in at least 20 years if you really want to do the math. When was the last time you drew a picture (not a map, not stick figures, or any other low rent visual)? I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the power of images–especially in collage form–in making positive changes in one’s life. And, I have to admit, when I want to change something about myself, the best way I’ve found to go about it is to take those few (or often many) minutes between going to bed and falling asleep to visualize new reactions to the given situation, or better alternative habits. And when I say visualize, I mean concentrating on every detail as if it were a photograph. If there are other people, I know their faces in detail and even the colors and designs of every article of clothing they wear. If it’s an indoor scene, I can feel the carpet or tile under my feet; I can see where the paint is getting grubby and needs a new coat. I take a great deal of time to decorate the sets, as it were, before starting the action of the scene. And I don’t know why, but it seems to translate into results in the real world. But, as I was saying, I’ve been hearing about collages lately, and I’m not real hep on the idea. I do, however, like the idea of collecting images of the things I want to come into (or stay, for that matter) in my life. However, as is my habit, I have very specific ideas of the sorts of images I might want to include–and I could end up leafing through magazines for hours and still not finding the things I’d want. So I sharpened my pencil and sat down to draw myself surrounded by some of the things I aspire to–not necessarily in an ownership sort of way, but in a how-I-want-to-invest-my-time sort of way.

I must say I’m far more pleased with the results than I thought I would be. The drawing I did of myself is something that I can look at without cringing, and I even got the sort of expression and comfortable pose that I was aiming for. I’ve made a bunch of random surrounding images, and all of these are recognizable as the things I intended. And, best of all, there’s still room for more!

I know that several of you who read here are excellent photographers, but I really would be interested in knowing if any of you ever draw or doodle, even just for your own enjoyment. Obviously words play a large part in all of our lives (as evidenced by the persistent blogging habits we share), but does creating images from your own imagination and by your own hand play any role in your planning process? Or other processes?

Oh, and the other thing I did? I got started writing a short story. It was just suddenly there asking to be written down. I’m not done with it yet, but I may inflict it on you at some future date. Be warned!

Good Reads

Hey, are any of you signed up at www.goodreads.com? I signed up at a friend’s request, not thinking that I would use it very much, but it’s a bit addictive. I guess it’s drawing me in because it’s designed to appeal to people who read (me) and people who are pathological about making lists (me). Goodreads presses all my little OCD buttons.

If you think you might sign up, let me know. I’d love to add a few more “friends” and see what everyone’s reading. (OP, I know that you especially might go for this).