Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Antsy Pantsies

My week of housesitting is nearing an end, but I just couldn't stay away from the blog another day, despite the fact that this is cutting into precious sleep time. You have no idea how protective I can be of my sleep time. Try living in a 9-hours-per-night body in a 6-hours-per-night world. It can get ugly.

The principal duties involved in sitting with this house involve sitting with the dog, Joe. Also, walking, feeding, and otherwise loving Joe. This is easy to do as I have mentioned before. His family comes back Friday morning so my time with him is nearing an end.

As much as I enjoy him, I am eager to get back to my own personal pursuits that do not revolve around sniffing every blade of grass in the park. Another key part of the house sitting is the watering of the plants. These people have a beautiful backyard. I may be easily impressed, given my lack of gardening experience; although, my mother is quite a gardener, so I like to think I know something good when I see it. However, all this horticulture is giving me ants in the pants regarding my own green thumbery. I've been doing much basic (very, very, oh-so basic) reading on container gardening, but then I started to think that I wanted to start with a cactus in a container and some catnip in the ground. I'm considering doing a whole little cat garden in a corner of our tiny backyard. So I did some research at Barnes & Noble and uncovered the horrifying truth that this is simply a disastrous time of year to be planting much of anything in Tucson. It seems that 105-degree temps are not loved by many plants. Go figure. So I am supremely frustrated that all my gardening mojo has to continue to be put on hold.

My current revised plan is to visit a local nursery and ask them if they don't think I could just start a little barrel cactus in a container, maybe with a little shade? And I already have some oat grass seeds (also for cats) that I could maybe try to germinate indoors. By the time it's ready to be planted outdoors, it may be fall, and I may be on a transplanting spree. Of course, this is poor, poor timing because that is just when I expect my hours at work to be picking up. I need to get all my projects in now!

This is why I'm always struck dumb when my friends ask what I am possibly doing with all my free time now that I'm only working two days a week. No one seems able to imagine how I could manage to fill all the long, lonely hours. It is unsurprising to me that I have proven that I could spend the rest of my life in non-occupational activities. I have no problem filling a single minute. I suspect this comes from the only-child upbringing. I've never had a problem entertaining myself. It's not too hard to get my interested in much of anything. This can make me a little ADHD. I often find myself walking into a room to do something, only to become distracted by something else in my line of sight that needs doing. This tangential task invariably involves relocation to yet another room, where I stumble upon yet another task. You'd be amazed how quickly this can fill a day. My other major talent is compiling more and more projects to add to the looooooong list of things I want to do in life; although, I seem to spend most of my life planning rather than doing. But I so enjoy the planning. And one plan leads to another and must be thoroughly researched and charted before execution...this is where I also get a bit OCD.

So, in the spirit of doing, I am sad/glad to report that my sewing machine is now back on track to be repaired; I will not be purchasing a new one. I'm glad that negotiations between the shop and DH have reached amicable conclusions (they knocked $30 off the fee), but they haven't even ordered the part yet, so I fear at least another couple of weeks sans machine. Like the gardening, I yearn to sew, but not so much that I'll resort to hand-sewing. In the meantime, I'm keeping busy with other small projects.

Two years ago I had three knee operations in three months. They were minor, but required a lot of time off the feet and my mother gave me a little embroidery project kit. I never got to it during my rehab because I was doing so much copy editing at the time, but I rediscovered the kit during The Great Craft Reorganization of 2006 and decided to give it a go. It was just a simple little design, but I like it and it came together quickly. It came with a hideous mat to mount it on though, so I've decided to make my own out of some fabric scraps (again, waiting for the sewing machine) and will frame it (and quilt it?). Not sure whether I'll keep it or give it away. Not sure I have a place in which to keep it, but I like it's connection as a thistle to my Scottish roots.

I've also spray-painted some tins for probable office desk use. There are actually four, but the biggest round one still needs one more coat. I also bought some paint to add a little something to their lids, but I'm not sure what yet. I have some design ideas of my own in mind, but I don't think I've painted anything since high school, and I was never very handy with a brush. I considered stencils, even looked at some at JoAnn's, but I wasn't happy with any of them and I'm kind of liking the idea of the challenge anyway so I'll try some sketches and see what I can come up with. I'm supposed to be trying to drag some of that dormant creativity back into the light of day anyway, right? From whatever recesses grad school beat it into?

One last yearning I will address today, but don't anticipate even trying to do anything about, is taking some dance classes. I'm not a horrible dancer; I can keep a beat. But I can only do some standard white-girl moves, nothing remotely impressive. I'm not one of those girls who seem to have natural dancing ability and control over their bodies, but I don't see any reason why I couldn't attain that. And the delusions of grandeur swell with the current "So You Think You Can Dance?" season on air, which I am as ridiculously addicted to as I get to "America's Next Top Model" (although, I personally don't think this is nearly as shameful as an ANTM addiction, for which I have no excuse or explanation). Watching all those brilliantly gifted people for two hours straight makes it start to look like anyone could learn it, then I get in front of the mirror and...I've got nothin'. You'd think the seven years of tap I had would have left me with some skills. Okay, maybe you wouldn't think that, but I would like to think that. Regardless, they haven't.

DH and I were given the very generous wedding gift of about a dozen private ballroom dance lessons before our wedding. They were great fun (yes, even for him! Or at least so he said), but we weren't exactly on even footing (no pun intended) given that it took him half those lessons just to learn to "hear the one," the other half to tear his eyes away from his feet, and he never quite got over the tongue shoved into his cheek (a classic sign of DH concentration). In hindsight, I think he was rushed by our instructor, who, understandably, just wanted to give us some fun choreography for the wedding (which he did). So, my point is, I would like to take more dance lessons, but I'm not sure DH would be up for it at the level I am. Never minding the fact that there's no way he has time for dancing of any kind, given that I've seen him for a total of maybe two hours this week. Perhaps I'll start with the cardio dance class at my gym and see what happens from there.

Just a little eye candy for the road...

Some killer notecards I just got! I love the girly pink with the tomboy bugs!

The Father's Day card I sent my dad last week. I just really liked the image.

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