I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Some Texas lessons

Granny Janny
On Thanksgiving Day, my sister PJ brought all of us these interesting neck warmers. You can also stick your head inside the whole thing and get an effect like the one in this picture. We laughed and played with them in various ways, and I found that they are also very warm, so I can use it here during the winter, maybe not quite like this, though. I had to take it off right after the picture was taken, it was so warm!

During the eleven days I was in Texas, I stayed at my brother's house. I thought it would be fine for Norma Jean and I to share a bed in their spare bedroom, but after two nights I ended up sleeping on the couch instead, ceding the room to Norma Jean and her rather loud, um, breathing. She also wakes in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. I, on the other hand, usually sleep soundly most of the night. So we couldn't share a bed like we did when we were girls. I don't know if I snore; Norma Jean didn't realize that she does. My partner doesn't seem to be bothered by it if I do. I'm a side sleeper and it's usually people who sleep on their backs who snore the most, it seems.

One day Norma Jean and I went out for pedicures. This is something I hadn't done before (she lives in Florida and wears sandals often, so it wasn't new to her) but I find I absolutely adore seeing my sparkly pink toes when I pull off my socks. Not to mention the nice job that was done on my toenails, much better than I could do myself. I will continue to treat myself to a pedicure now and then. I also enjoyed the leg massage and application of lotion. Now that I've done it once, I have noticed plenty of places around town that offer such a service.

Norma Jean and I walked together most days, if you can call what she does "walking." She doesn't run any more because of her ankles, but she walks at a 4.5-mile-an-hour pace. I had to jog alongside her to keep up, but I did it because she doesn't seem to know how to slow down and I wanted to be with her. While we walked together, we talked (when I could manage it), but when she's alone she listens to music or a podcast. It's not my thing, but I notice that most people on the bus or on sidewalks have earbuds or wear headphones. It makes me feel removed from my environment when I do that; maybe that's the point.

My sister Fia also took me to her hot yoga class in Texas and I enjoyed myself much more than I expected to. Many years ago I attended Bikram Yoga regularly and stopped when I realized I wasn't enjoying it any more and was forcing myself to attend. There's a Bikram studio right next door to my coffee shop, and I went a couple of times. It wasn't quite right back when I first moved here, but I'm going to give it another try. I enjoyed the experience in Texas and want to give it another chance. The heat certainly makes it easier to stretch. I miss the flexibility I had when I was younger.

Now that I have an iPhone, I am enjoying learning all the features that a smartphone offers me. Yesterday I left my regular camera behind and took pictures with the phone, which are much better than I expected. I also ordered an Otterbox for my phone, since it's so wet here in the Pacific Northwest much of the time. Last Thursday on our very wet hike, I worried about my phone constantly, moving it from one place to another, hoping to keep it from getting damp. Now I'll feel more more comfortable taking it with me everywhere. One woman on yesterday's walk told me that she accidentally spilled coffee on her phone and now the microphone doesn't work. I didn't buy one of those plans to cover things like that for my iPhone, so I'll try to be careful.

My routine is now back to normal, but the excursion over the Thanksgiving holiday has permanently changed some parts of it. I guess it's important to take a step outside of one's normal everyday life in order to add some spice to it. I'll be spending Christmas here in Bellingham, with a few parties to attend, and Christmas chorales if I choose. It's a nice time of year to stay warm and enjoy the few times the sun breaks through the clouds. Getting wet isn't too bad when you've got the proper gear, either!


Anonymous said...

I bet your toenails look pretty, but do be careful. I got major toe infections on both big toes and needed surgery on them as well as an antibiotic. My podiatrist told me to avoid pedicurists who insist on cutting my cuticles. The foot bath is not very sanitary, either. I have decided to cut and polish my own nails.

June said...

When I saw your thumbnail in my reading list I thought it was a picture of an Amish man. :-o

Linda Reeder said...

Just put that neck warmer up over your chin a bit and you've got the perfect costume for next Halloween, of a disguise for robbing a latte stand, or....whatever! Love it!
No pedicures for this toenail fungus sufferer. I have mine done, painfully, by a podiatrist. Nothing pretty and pink about my toes.
I enjoyed spending Sunday morning with you once again.

justme_alive said...

Just a tip for your iPhone, if it gets really wet or you spill something on it put it in a bowl of uncooked rice for a day or two. This draws all the moisture out & usually takes care only issues.

justme_alive said...

Oops meant to say takes care of "any" moisture related issues.

Linda Myers said...

Yoga now, too! You'll be even busier.

wendyytb said...

Love the neck warmer! What's on your needles, DJan?

Dee said...

Dear DJan, your family get-together during Thanksgiving has given you so many wonderfully warm memories. And also given you new ideas to think about. That's the wonder of taking time away. I found that the same thing happened when I went up to the Twin Cities in April. I came back renewed in spirit.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I do my own nails..I do a good soak in the tub and it makes it much easier. I should put more lotion on my feet..especially in the winter.
I do love that head thingy ..I will have to look for one of those..perhaps I can find a red one.
Yesterday there was a massage therapist at the retreat..the girls just raved..she did hot stones..whatever that is..I do not like massages either..old and cranky:)

Arkansas Patti said...

Love that neck warmer. Looks like you would fit right in on an English court.
A pedi sounds marvelous, maybe some day.

Gigi said...

I love a good pedicure; although I don't let them cut my cuticles either. I love to see my sparkly toes when I pull off my socks - it's a nice pick me up to the cold days.

Red said...

Liked your comments on your sister's sleeping and walking. My brother road bike with me once and that was it so I guess I did something wrong.
Had a young friend working on a rig and he dropped his phone in a pail of varsol?

Bragger said...

I treat myself to pedicures regularly, as I do a TERRIBLE job of cutting my own nails. I love the professional look of my nails being painted. When I attempt to do it myself, I end up painting most of my toes as well.

I resisted the whole iPhone thing, and now I can't do without it. I was also pleasantly surprised at the quality of photos.

Jackie said...

Like your sister, I tend to do the 'heavy breathing' when I sleep, too! (I have awakened myself snoring...can you believe it!!)
I'm glad that you enjoyed your pedicure, and that you are going to continue to treat yourself. You deserve it.
Stay warm, and most of all stay healthy and happy, my friend.
Sending you all the best wishes via this blog comment.

Sally Wessely said...

The neck warmer is quite interesting! I bet it is warm, and really, it is a good idea.

I love pedicures. I treat myself to them because I really can't take care of toes myself very well. The last one I had was heavenly because of heated oil that was used. It was luxurious for sure. I am very careful where I go though. One can't be too clean for me.

Trish said...

It's hot enough in Florida so that I avoid Bikram. But it does enable the muscles to stretch more quickly! That's some cool neck warmer!

Rita said...

Goodness! Now you're going to add yoga to your routine? You are always busy!

You came back invigorated and inspired. I'm glad you're getting the whatever it was to keep your phone dry. And what a funny neck warmer! It looks very warm and like it comes from another century! Cool!

Stay dry and warm!! :) :)

CrazyCris said...

That photo is such FUN!!! :o)

I've only had a pedicure once in my life (despite living in a beach area), and although it was nice seeing my toes all pretty at a friend's wedding, it seemed too much of a cost and time hassle to do it on a regular basis.

Yoga is something I would definitely like to get back to! I hope you enjoy it again! :o)

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Dianne said...

before I saw Jerry's link to you I saw your pic and recognized you right way :)

I just got a smart phone too
came yesterday, I'm trying out Consumer Cellular

let's see how long it takes me to send a text
oy! ;)

Stella Jones said...

I love your Granny snood (as we call them over here). I have a green one and wouldn't be without it in our harsh winters, either.
I've never had a pedicure and I've only ever had one professional massage, although Larry is good at that when I can get him interested enough to do it. I'd love to do both on a regular basis. I know my feet are further away than they used to be and therefore more difficult to attend to.
So glad you enjoyed your stay with your family.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Wow that is very much about the impact of family and how expectations have to be tweaked. Glad you are so flexible,