The start of July came and went… and despite me placing a notification in my electronic calendar, I entirely missed the notification reminding me that July brings another “Currently” post. Thankfully, Carole gently reminded me this week with her timely post on her current world!
So while this post is a bit late… July is practically over… how about a peek into what my world looks like! So get something to drink and let me tell you what has been going on around here!
Contemplating: Change… in so many things. One thing that has a big change happening wis the On Being podcast, which I was a faithful listener! It is changing… no longer a weekly venture for Ms. Tippet, but when it returns in the fall it will be different… but still centered around mind-opening conversation. But for the summer… Krista is bring us The Summer of Pause. And I must tell you… it is the perfect pairing for my word this month. I have been focused on filling my days with the simple, and what is simpler than to take a pause. This quote struck a deep cord and I have written it in several places as a reminder to myself…
When we pause, allow a gap and breathe deeply, we can experience instant refreshment. Suddenly, we slow down, look out, and there’s the world. — Pema Chödrön
Allowing a gap is a beautiful thing… and I am really loving it! So while change can be a struggle… I am such a creature of habit… there is something good about change as well. This focus on simplicity has allowed me to spend some time in the gap… pausing… relishing the simple… and in the process appreciated what all this has done for my mental health! Less reactions to stress. Better sleep… such better sleep. Feeling better about myself. Small wins with an immense impact!
Learning: I have completed my first watercolor lesson. And I have learned so much. I watched the video and took many notes. I then got my paper ready and started the video again… and started trying the new techniques I was learning. I can be very self-critical… and I see many mistakes. Too wet…. too much paint… not enough paint…. too dry. But I am counting a win that I can identify my challenges and will submit my homework for welcome critique. And I will keep practicing… I can tell you all this… time just flies when I am painting. It is a welcome pause in my day!
Listening: Some weeks ago, I read that Heather McGhee was going to do a podcast and the first episodes dropped this week. It is called The Sum of Us and is available on Spotify. I have listened to the first two episodes and have enjoyed them tremendously. If you liked her book by the same name, you will love the podcast. Heather is traveling across the country and talking to people… something I think she does incredibly well. It is very different from the normal listening I do… it is not like listening to an audiobook and it is very different from a poetry podcast. A welcome change in my listening rotation!
In My Backyard: Recently I shared that “our” regular bunny pair had made a nest near our patio. In fact, she made her nest in a “Tomato Bag” that I had recently pulled out the tomato plant that was not doing well, but I neglected to empty the bag of the dirt and put it away… because lazy – or perhaps lucky?? Serendipitous most certainly because it was just so much fun watching them care for the wee little bunnies. Anyways, last Sunday was Baby Bunny Move Out Day, and we watched the littles (there were 4 of them) trying to figure out how they were going to get out of the bag! We watched them all day as they hopped around… peering over the edge and wondering which might be the first out. The daddy bunny was in the yard, watching them closely… patiently waiting. Sadly, we did not see The Great Escape and by morning the nest was empty. Sigh. We have gotten glimpses of them around the yard several times though! Sometimes it is the simplest little things that bring the greatest joy… and those little bunnies certainly brought so much joy!
Joni Jamming: On my bucket list is to someday be in person at the Newport Folk Festival… someday. However, the surprise visit of Joni Mitchell to this year’s fest has had me wishing I had been there and I have been Joni Jamming ever since. The only word that comes to my mind is miraculous… and tonights happy hour is gonna be all Joni!
Some of my all time favorites: Both Sides Now, Just Like This Train, and Big Yellow Taxi…
Over-done: As in the never ending heat. I try so hard not to waste the season I am in wishing for the next season to get here.. but gosh! This heat has done me in… I am really ready for it to be over. There is little joy in sitting outside in 90+ degree temps trying to be comfortable… so we have spent far too many days indoors with the AC blasting. I am ready for a break… although, all this heat (with very little rain) means that Steve has not had to mow the yard in weeks… so there’s that. But still… I am longing for 70-ish degree days that I can have the AC off and the windows all open!
And there you have it, gentle readers… a slice of my current life! Have a great weekend and I will see you all back here on Monday!
Your current life sounds like you are making it a lovely, simpler one! I absolutely love your watercolors and thank you for sharing. I am more ready for fall than usual and would welcome rain and even a breath of cooler air. But we’ve still got to get through August; I hope it goes quickly!
Fun post Kat. Really enjoyed seeing your water colors and hearing about how your are simplifying things a bit. Perfect! I had not heard that Joni (one of my most favorite artists ever) was at the Newport Jazz Festival. I wish I had been there too. We finally got an inch of rain last night! Still humid out, but at least things got a little drink. Enjoy your weekend!
LOVE the Joni Mitchell videos!!! I had already seen the one of Both Sides Now. I’ll have to see if I can find the whole show.
Your watercolor painting is fabulous. Kudos to you for starting something new!
you are a wonderful watercolorist! I had a week off of life while on vacation and did nothing except read when there were pockets of time. I am ready to jump back into my creative pursuits.
Your watercolors are so lovely. I gasped when I saw them!! I love following along with your painting. Thanks for the On Being update — I haven’t listened in quite a while and didn’t know that things were changing. I’m disappointed but am sure that it will be amazing, because it always is.
And the bunnies: I hear you about how much joy they can bring! Someone’s domesticated bunny got loose and we’ve been watching it hop around every day… this happened a couple of summers ago and it was so much fun. I’m also hoping for a break in the heat but am not seeing one in the forecast. I keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time!
I think your watercolors are lovely and I’m glad you are enjoying learning and practicing. Those baby bunnies must be adorable, I hope they don’t eat anything you don’t want them to eat! Joni Mitchell is incredible and I love all the videos from the Newport Folk Festival. If you do ever go, I’ll meet you there – it’s only about an hour away from me! And thanks for the info on the Sum of Us podcast. I thought the book was eye opening and I will definitely be checking out the podcast.
I know you are critical of your own work, but I can tell you that I think your watercolor looks amazing! Whatever you’re doing is working, so keep doing it!
I listened to a teaser of the Sum of Us podcast via Michelle Obama’s podcast and really enjoyed it. Definitely going to be listening to that one.
Is there anything sweeter than tiny bunnies?
I am ready for slightly cooler temps. It’s really the humidity that kills me more than anything. At least it looks like this weekend will be lovely!
“You don’t know what got til it’s gone…” ain’t it the truth! Enjoyed that!