It is the small things

MontBlanc Meisterstück at the top and the Platinum #3776 Century at the bottom/Photography AdS

There really is no good reason for temperatures in the 80s and 90s but who listens to me, right? After suffering through that sweaty mess for the past few days we were rewarded with several rounds of severe weather that kept you up at night in a sea of blazing lights and roaring thunder. Now that those storms are gone, we are enjoying low seventies with a nice breeze.

I went into the yard this morning. I knew that the storm had taken a toll on our trees. I heard some cracks but stayed inside. It wasn’t as bad as I had feared. One tree in the front yard took all the hits. I sawed off the branches that were partly ripped from the trunk. What is left of the tree now looks like a swizzle stick. I hope it will recover but the damage could have been worse. Nobody got hurt and the house is fine.

One thing that I wanted to do for a long time is to switch the cartridges from my fountain pens. My MontBlanc Meisterstück has been Royal Blue since I got it years ago. I love the blue colour but after almost 16 years, it is time to spruce things up. My Platinum #3776 Century has been light brown since I bought it about two years ago. The colour is too light. I like the Sepia caramel brown from Kaweco better.

So, encouraged by the upper arm exercise of sawing off tree branches I set out to switch cartridges. I got a little over enthusiastic and now have a blue ink stain on the wall behind my desk. It is not a big stain. You can only see it when you get close to the socket, but yeah, score for Alice.

But after getting my hands stained with Sepia ink that got transferred to my glasses, I now have Sepia caramel brown in my Meisterstück and Pigment blue in my Platinum.

I really should not do chores before I had my third cup of coffee.

Enjoy the weekend!

Coffee Chat

Photo by wewe yang on

So what’s new? What have you been up to? Haven’t seen you in a while! We order drinks, and while the barista is getting our coffees ready, we scan the shop for a free table. There is no more room at the counter but there is some space at the reading table. Only, the students have spread out. Laptop to the left, textbooks to the right, backpacks on the chairs. Maybe we should go over to the other side. That other table is even more crowded but it still has some space. We could squeeze in. Just when we pick up our drinks, someone leaves at a small table and we pounce. As we plop down, masks go off, coats go over the chairs, and the sunglasses go back into their cases.

So what’s new? What have you been up to? Haven’t seen you in a while! We talk about this and that, about them and us, and about us back then and now. We talk about what we knew that was wrong back then but could not change and how we now cringe when we look back.

It isn’t just a chat or a catch-up. It is about connections. Connecting with people, their plans, and their worries. Connecting with their doubts and reasons to avoid some topics. Connecting with my own feelings about subjects, people, doubts, regrets, and wishes.

It isn’t about chatting or coffee, it is about freeing your heart to say what you need knowing that you will not be judged or rejected. It is about freeing your soul so it doesn’t go into overload mode. It is about encouraging to listen to your conscience and your guts to do what you always wanted to do, to just be you.

Let’s have coffee again soon!

Gratitude Wednesday

Photo by Jill Wellington on

I don’t know what to put on my Christmas list. That means that my family has a harder time shopping for me. But you know what? I am grateful that I don’t know what to ask for Christmas.

It is privilege, yes, a warm home, a full refrigerator, a stuffed pantry, lots of clothes and books, and I have my health and my family. We love each other and we like spending time together. I think that I have everything I want.

Ideally, I’d like a large portion of world peace. I actually ask for it every year. My family knows it is a heart wish, a sincere heart wish, and what we can contribute, we do. But a lot is out of our hands. So, we work on peace in our own small corner of the world.

I will probably put some books and scarves on my wish list, perfume, and maybe a pair of fuzzy socks. But that will be it. I have what I have always coveted. My own little world filled with people whom I love and like.

Gratitude Wednesday

Standard Issue Notebook with a Stabilo Pointball M 0.5/picture AdS

We all know the calls that we get when we are due for a yearly physical or, as I call it, yearly maintenance. You show up, chat with the nurses, see the doc who then asks you how you’ve been the past year. My standard answer: ‘OK, I guess.’

A good doctor digs further to ensure that we are not missing anything in preventive care or injuries that might linger too long. Often, I walk out of the building only to realize later on at home that I had a bunch of questions such as lowering a dose, trying a new prescription, possible side-effects, or that I had started a supplement regime, needed a referral, etc.

To make sure that I get the most out of these yearly physicals, I started a health journal. Nothing fancy, it is a simple notebook. I write the Month at the top of the page and every day I jot down a few words about my health. How do I feel? Fever? How high? Did any food make my stomach upset? Any patterns? How well did I sleep? Any sport’s injuries that linger? Any sudden weight gain or loss? Vision ok?

It is really a very basic thing, one line on most days. Then, at the end of the month, I write a quick summary. How was this month’s sleep compared to last month? More or less stress? Any life changes or news that got me jumpy? If changes were stress related, did I cause my own stress or was it based in worries over another person? Did I take more OTC meds one month than before? Did I exercise enough?

Doing this has made it easier to answer the doc’s questions especially regarding regularity of my periods, the changes with menopause, weight gain or loss after new prescription medications, side-effects, pain that is weather related, and suggestions for life changes and nutrition. It ensures I ask the questions I had during the past few months and I have pen & paper to write down the doc’s answers.

So this week, my gratitude shout-out goes to my health journal!

Gratitude Wednesday

Photo by wewe yang on

There is a lot to be grateful for in life. So, what am I grateful for today?

1: Washers and Dryers, they keep us going. Even if we never get to the bottom of the hamper, they keep chucking along without complaining. Hilariously, they are from a series named ‘Epic’ and that name is well-chosen.

2: Tea, yes, simple tea leaves. They are not just tasty. They work magic. Earl Grey Tea settles my stomach when it is upset. Jasmin Green Tea soothes my nerves when I watch the news. Oolong Tea peps me up when I start to feel sluggish. And, Tazo Dream Tea with valerian provides the calm I need before bed.

3: Books, I love books. You can never have too many books. In fact, my husband and I would tell you to move to a bigger house to accommodate your books. We have books everywhere in the house. I have at one point even considered making a Christmas Tree from books but it fell apart.

What’s on your gratitude list?