instaround

I know I spend a lot of time talking about the weather, but the weather is so wonky! 54 yesterday and 26 today? But I’m enjoying my days for the most part; having instagram makes it easier for me to keep track of the little things that make each day special: a beautiful sunset, homemade vegetable soup, snowy train tracks, a reflection in morning coffee, and an abandoned Downtown Mall.

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hue

Gray days always bring out the most beautiful hues in nature. The bad and the good balance out in the end. (My neighbor stole that dog from its negligent owner’s backyard.)

cicada exoskeleton weeds chimney after rain rain on leaves hound dogpurple bush man with binocularsraindrops on spider web wing seed

so it goes

vintage flowers

I feel like I can’t keep up. Shifting from a 25 hour, daytime work week to a 40 hour evening shift had a greater impact on the flow of my life than I anticipated (though I guess I wasn’t analyzing it that much – I just went for it).

I like my new work environment, but I still miss the coffee shop. I miss my coworkers, the work itself, the large front window for people watching, the spontaneous interaction. I’ve always considered myself an introvert, but I realize after a few days spent mostly alone at work that I need the presence of others to maintain sanity. My coworker left a few hours early for three days last week and by the end of each night, I could barely function. I felt anxious, bored, and on the brink of emotional breakdown. It was weird.

In a production environment, it’s nice to feel like part of a team. Being alone is overwhelming because you don’t have that safety net, that presence that implies that part of the burden will be shouldered for you if it’s too much to handle. I’ve grown to appreciate the camaraderie of working toward something as a group; it makes the most menial of tasks enjoyable by giving them a heightened purpose, by making them a relationship building activity instead of merely a mechanical chore.

I really do enjoy having two days off in a row, though. I’ve been working weekend shifts since I graduated, so it’s a strange treat to have Saturday and Sunday off, as long as I get out of the house and accomplish things.

So, things are good, just different. Now that Daniel is out of classes for the summer, I anticipate that our weekends will get more exciting. I plan to attend local festivals, visit the farmer’s market, and take trips to nearby towns on my days off. It’s time to re-level the foundation and start building up a full life again.

surprise!

After I heard that my friend Gillian was flying to England to surprise her mom for her birthday, I decided it’d be perfect to surprise my sister by showing up for her college graduation in Jacksonville, Florida.

graduation girl

I’d been homesick for awhile anyway, and with a new job that provides generous personal leave, everything fell into place. I boarded a plane from Charlottesville last Friday morning and arrived in Jacksonville (after a bout of nausea, serious sinus pressure, and a nearly missed connecting flight) before 11 am, just in time to catch Jenny before extended family arrived. Even though my dad had explicitly mentioned my name in connection to weekend events the day before, Jenny didn’t suspect a thing. In fact, she called me while I was in the grocery store parking lot 5 minutes from the house to talk to me about post-graduation plans.

family graduation

We enjoyed post-graduation hors d’oeuvres courtesy of our mother,

fa2 fa3

spent some time relaxing and shopping on Saturday,

morning cerealregal cat

and hung out with my Florida friends (and the kitten) on Sunday afternoon.

fa14 friends at beachsisters at beach

It was a wonderful, albeit brief, trip home. I’m so glad I survived my first time flying alone to see loved ones and enjoy the Florida weather. Congratulations, Jennifer!

sisters at beach

week(s) in review

beautiful yellow lily

The past couple weeks have been busy!

In the past two weeks, I (and sometimes Daniel):

  • completed my first and second week at the new job
  • made the discovery that I’m mildly allergic to vinyl
  • bought some greige nail polish at Sephora
  • wore shorts for the first time in 6+ months
  • drank at least one cup of iced tea every day
  • realized we’ve lived in Charlottesville for more than 8 months now
  • went to Staunton to meet Daniel’s dad for breakfast
  • took lots of photographs of flowers
  • ate at a new Mexican restaurant
  • went on a nature walk with a friend
  • lamented the fact that my car AC no longer works
  • thought about growing out my hair (again)
  • attended a portion of the Tom Tom Founder’s Festival
  • bought a vintage denim skirt at Low Vintage
  • ate at Song Song’s Zhou and Bing with a friend (I really love that place)
  • missed my old job
  • finally bought some studs to wear in my second and third ear piercings
  • made chocolate chip banana bread
  • attended a fun potluck
  • tried to make a daisy chain
  • thought up a few new features for Style Wise
  • reduced prices at Water Lily Thrift in honor of spring time
  • contemplated how to balance ambition with contentment
  • felt sorrowful over the return of house centipedes, sugar ants, and spiders
  • talked to a friend on the phone
  • got lots of allergy-induced headaches

pink tree flowers

– Reading: anything and everything on Rachel Held Evans’ blog
– Watching: Treme; King of the Hill
– Listening to: random Pandora stations at work; the Penguin Cafe Orchestra CD my sister got me for Christmas
– Anticipating: life puzzle pieces falling into place so I can take the next steps with confidence

tom tom founder’s fest

tom tom founder's festival

The banner went up for the Tom Tom Founder’s Festival about a month ago when I still worked downtown; I kept telling myself I’d look it up when I got home. I started to hear of food trucks and live music and talks. Friday night, Daniel told me that he was having an awesome time perusing local art, enjoying a bustling downtown atmosphere, and attending a poetry reading. Since I worked ’til 10, I was determined to make the most of it on Saturday.

My friend, Greta, and I headed downtown around noon. We stopped in for some bing (dumplings) and peanut salad at Song Song’s Zhou and Bing, then headed over to Low Vintage, my favorite vintage shop in town, where we bought a few items and chatted with Nora, the owner.

low vintage lo4

The weather was perfect for a lazy stroll down the mall. Eventually, we meandered over to Lee Park to enjoy the live music. We sat on the grass and ate locally made popsicles – I had the Strawberry Hibiscus and Greta had the Banana Macademia Nut. We took our time people watching and generally enjoying the atmosphere.

charlottesville downtown mall flowering tree strawberry popsicle

Spring festivals make sense. We’ve suffered through the dark winter months and we need to celebrate. We need something to gather outside for, to come out of the woodwork for. We need to be reminded that we exist together in a community and that we collectively deserve to enjoy the moment before it passes.

tt5 purple flowering tree

If you live in the Charlottesville area, think about taking part in the final events of the weekend – they’ve got a few interesting talks lined up for this afternoon.

week in review

week in review

Haven’t done one of these in awhile. It’s interesting (to me at least) to see how my blog transitions and adapts over time. But I really do want to record my life as it happens, however broad that description of events turns out to be, so that I can look back on it and remember more of the details instead of letting the mood or feeling of the months and years fog the memories as they were actually experienced.

This week, I (and sometimes Daniel):

  • experienced more snow
  • had a few lovely spring days
  • got my new glasses in the mail
  • got my car fixed
  • got fitted for running shoes (that I may buy eventually)
  • went thrift shopping
  • updated Water Lily Thrift
  • celebrated the first day of spring by wearing pastels and floral prints
  • made Brunswick Stew (it was a success)
  • went to a potluck dinner
  • drank too much coffee
  • acknowledged my tendency to buy too much
  • took in two highway scenic views and breathed the cold air
  • started working on a Fair Trade Charlottesville blog

– Reading: Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston; Sweatshops Still Make Your Clothes by Jake Blumgart for Salon
– Watching: Treme; The Wire
– Listening to: Mates of State
– Anticipating: Spring; starting my new job

food for thought

 

“If you do really like what you’re doing…you can eventually become a master of it…and then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is…it’s absolutely stupid to go on doing things you don’t like…and to teach your children to follow in the same track…to bring up their children to do the same things. It’s all retch and no vomit – it never gets there.” – Alan Watts