6.07.2013

Jersey-Knit Lion Caves and other stories

As a general rule, I don't use this space to advertise, but I'm willing to when family starts cute Etsy shops. :) Check out Bijou Villa for work in silk and copper, wearable art and whimsy. I ought to patch my jeans with some of those butterflies.

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After several months of depressive episode—which feels, to me, something like the drugged heaviness and mental dysfunction of getting up too early after taking Nyquil, only much more painful—I am awake this week.

Awake. I can see beauty with haze-free eyes, and concentrate on reading, and take childlike delight in little blessings like milkshakes made with cocoa and peanut butter, and cheer myself over imperfect but comparatively smooth attempts at Aeris' Theme on the piano. I can imagine ordering my days better toward neatness and productivity. I can sometimes even face up to my unfinished novels with a smile, and have thought about writing music again.

The windows are open, the sun is often out, and I'm awake. And I'm grateful for every minute of optimism and sunshine.

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The last of the peonies are in splendid form right now. This deep purplish-red one might be my favorite of the lot:


I'm fond of this softer, frilly one, too, though:



Also: snapdragons! And a random buttercup. Buttercups are noxious weeds around here—they'll grow right up under your carefully planted flowers and vegetables and choke them out—but it's hard to hate something so cheerful.



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I'm in the mood for summer reading. So much so that I’m half tempted to swear I won’t read anything dark or dreary or even difficult until the twenty-first of September. At which point, maybe I'll be ready to tackle War and Peace as promised.

Depression, begone; summer, come hither! I’ve got the first of Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books awaiting me, and the new Sarah Dessen, too; I may look up the next Jeeves and Wooster (write-up on Right Ho, Jeeves coming next Wednesday), and I’m feeling adventurous with my Kindle. There are a handful of random romancey novels on my shelves, and I’ve got several unread Madeleine Brents and Mary Stewarts. I’ve even got a copy of The Wind in the Willows, which I haven’t read since childhood, and which, according to memory, is at least summery if not always cheerful. I might even decide to re-read an old happy favorite or two.

Expect some bright, blithe, warm-weather reading material around here in the next few months. :)

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Along reading lines, and along the lines of many a grumpy post on this blog: I loved The Crescat's short rant on the fact that Catholic fiction nowadays always has to be so stuffily Catholic.

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As longtime readers may remember, one of Maia's favorite things is laundry day. And one of her favorite parts of laundry day is getting made into the bed, which is especially fun in jersey-knit sheets:

Note the cat eyes, caught by the flash even through the sheet.
Maia: "I am a BRAVE CAVE LION. Mess with me at your own risk."






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Masha reminded me rather poignantly this week that introverts get lonely, too. On account of which, I hesitated to link Buzzfeed's 31 Unmistakable Signs that You're an Introvert today... but seriously, O readers! This introvert has been far too busy since, like, last October. Consequently, a good 28 of those signs feel absolutely true right now (not all, because I do get dressed on the weekends).

It's also hilarious. But if you're in a lonely mood, maybe wait to read it till you're tired of being a social butterfly again.

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Music of the week: I promised some Maire Brennan a few weeks back, and after listening to a playlist, found some favorites—this lullaby for her son in particular:



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Happy weekend!

9 comments:

  1. no..I seriously loved that whole introvert thing. It was great. :)

    And I'm so glad you're feeling better!!! Now you and Lou can plan a trip to Maine with Christie..we can cook Harry Potter food and wave wands around, or hide in our own private tents, read, and blog about it ;)

    Maia cracks me up..Luba likes to play 'Wild Thing of The Forest' which mainly involves running off into the woods with all her hackles up and ignoring us as we call desperately for her - The Cave Lion sounds more owner-inclusive!

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    1. Oh, good! 'Cause I just about died laughing reading it... I couldn't resist sharing.

      And I want to come to Maine with Christie SO BADLY. I would overcome my minor dislike for camping and sleep in a tent, I would be an extrovert enough to spend some days laughing and cooking and talking all day and half the night with you two. That would be AWESOME.

      I'm pretty sure Maia would play Wild Thing of the Forest if we dared let her outside. The nice thing about cats is that you can keep them in... of course, then you have a litterbox to worry about. But yeah, Cave Lion is a little more fun and a lot less annoying. :D

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  2. First, the cat pictures are delightful.

    Otherwise, I'm sorry to hear about the depressive episodes you've been having. Not that this is advice or anything, but seeing a psychiatrist is one of the best things I ever did. (And I'm terribly upset that my psychiatrist is leaving practice around here in the middle of July. Aaargh!)

    Still, with just some low doses of medications my depression & anxiety issues have been moderated to a great extent.

    Speaking of Tolstoy, nobody is ever truly ready to tackle War and Peace. :)

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    1. I'm seeing a naturopath to try and sort out some of the physical side of things, but believe me, I keep the thought of counseling and/or psychiatry in mind. Cutting back on the anxiety and the cold dead weighted-down feeling would be just super.

      And I believe you about Tolstoy. ;)

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    2. Second what George said about a psychiatrist, especially if you find one you really connect with. If you like the sound of it, try shopping for one now, while you're feeling better, because when the depression monster comes back for a visit, the last thing you will be is motivated!

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    3. when the depression monster comes back for a visit, the last thing you will be is motivated... hmmm. That is a good point.

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  3. Jenna, I'm so glad to hear you're feeling awake! I hope summer, your awesome flowers, Maia, peanut-butter milkshakes, Harry Potter and War and Peace can all conspire to keep you that way.

    -- and if you come to Maine NEXT WEEK, we can all hang out and nerd it up together. Ok, that might not be enough notice. It's too bad there's not a Cross-Portland Transporter connecting all cities with the same name to one another. :(

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    1. CROSS-PORTLAND TRANSPORTER. I need one of those!!! Or the ability to Apparate. Either one, just so I can get around the country/world and see my friends!!

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  4. Oh my gosh, you're right! Depression is emotional allergies! It makes you all stuffy and numb and groggy. Thank God for the passing of the valleys.

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