On my Instagram feed, I am participating in a project with Stacy Julian called 30 Days, 10 Years Later. This is a sort of a reboot of a class she taught back in 2008, which had photo, writing, and scrapbooking prompts for every day of September. I didn't do the original class (in 2008 I was also teaching scrapbooking classes, and taking the other instructors' classes felt wrong to me somehow; like their ideas might influence my ideas and it might start to seem like I was using their ideas instead of creating my own). You can see more about the project HERE (and it's never too late to join in! I started on September 3!)
I'm playing along for several reasons. One is that I realized just how heavy my IG feed has become with running and hiking photos. You KNOW I love running and hiking...but they are not the only activities I love. I want my feed to be eclectic, like my life is eclectic. And, besides: with my knee injury, I can't run or hike, so I needed a way to feel motivated to photograph other things in my life.
Second, and more important than my Instagram feed: I LOVE autumn. It is my favorite season; I look forward to it as soon as it ends. But as my kids have gotten older, I find myself documenting fewer and fewer experiences. Actually doing fewer things. So mostly I committed to this project as a way to really immerse myself in fall this year. (Strangely enough, in the year I can neither hike nor run, which are my favorite fall activities.)
To go along with this project, I am resurrecting an old blog project, which I called "weeklies." I tried to post a favorite picture and a summary of each week, and I managed about...ten-ish entries. Which is pretty good for me, but still. (Oddly enough, the last time I worked on weeklies it was also fall!) So here it is, the blog post I know all three of you readers have been waiting for: my summary of the first eight days of September 2018. (All of the other weeks will be regular week-sized entries.)
Saturday, September 1: I slept in! My mom was back in the hospital (she was having some internal bleeding and they didn't know the source), so Kaleb and I stopped by to visit her for awhile. Then we went to buy a snail to keep his beta fish happy. We ended up also buying a better tank than the little goldfish bowl he was using (which Haley got, with a goldfish, as an invite to a dance during her senior year). We looked at the kittens while we were at the pet store and it made me fairly sad. I'm trying to be fair and to compromise, since Kendell hates cats but we had one for 15 years. This is the longest I've ever gone in my life without having a cat. I am a cat person. Not having one tugs at me and makes me feel lonely. But, he's not budging. If I'm honest this makes me pretty mad at him, but then...he was often mad when we had our cat Emily, so. Marriage is hard. Being a grown-up is hard. (Being married to a no-cats person is SO HARD.)
Kendell fixed the lawnmower while Kaleb and I were together, and then he and I went to run some errands. Costco and Target and gas in the car and other Saturday-ish stuff. We stopped by Al's, which is a sporting-goods store we have here. He got a couple of t-shirts and I got nothing because my knee is injured and I'll probably never run or hike again and why even bother living? (I was pretty fun to run errands with!)
Costa Vida for dinner. They never charge me for extra cheese but tonight they charged me for extra cheese. Which made me mad because if I wanted to be charged extra for stuff, I'd go to Cafe Rio. (Still grumpy. I would be so much happier if I had a cat.)
Sunday, September 2. Kendell and Nathan went hiking this morning. Let's examine that sentence: Kendell and Nathan went hiking. WITHOUT ME. I am NOT HAPPY about not being able to hike. At all. But, I'm glad they went out into the woods together. They even sent me pictures!
I had to teach this Sunday. I am a gospel doctrine teacher, so every third Sunday I teach a lesson. This year we are studying the Old Testament. This calling has been complicated for me, probably because my relationship with the LDS church is complicated right now. So much frustrates me, and almost every time I teach a lesson I find myself even more frustrated. This week's lesson, though, was the story of Jonah and the whale. And this wasn't complicated. This was God speaking to me: love everyone. God loves everyone so to be like them I need to also try to love everyone. To let go of my frustrations and my annoyances and to remember God loves this person too. Jonah is just so...human. He gets afraid and annoyed and angry. He doesn't understand. He flees. He argues with God. Me too, Jonah. I needed the gentle reminder I found while preparing this lesson.
For dinner we had sweet pork burritos. One day I'll figure out how Cafe Rio gets their sweet pork so sweet. Mine is sweet-ish, but only in the sauce. Still, this is a surprisingly easy meal, since once the pork is cooking in the crockpot, all you really have to do is make some cilantro-ranch dressing and some lime rice and voila: dinner's ready.
My mom was set to be discharged from the hospital, so I took her back home. (She is currently living in an assisted living place. I'm hoping she falls in love with it and stays there, where she is safe and has people to interact with.) We talked with the hospitalist before she left about her heart; we've been worried about it, as she has some A-fib, but it is strong. (I'm actually really glad she got to have this discussion at the hospital. I was planning on taking her to get her echo next week, and then to get the results later...at the same doctor that Kendell goes to. I was glad to talk "heart" in different circumstances.
Monday, September 3, 2018. Labor Day. Mostly we did nothing. Nathan and Jake had to work, Kaleb hung out with his friend. I did some laundry and pulled some weeds—but gardening is not in my wheelhouse right now: too much knee bending. Kendell mowed the lawn and I went inside, discouraged. I took a nap. Kendell and I decided to go to Costco but discovered it was closed (the Internets lied!). For dinner, Kendell, Jake, Nathan, and I went to Red Lobster, which is an autumn tradition. They all get the all-you-can-eat shrimp. I'm civilized so I get a steak.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018. I woke up upset all over again about something that had happened the day before. So after I helped Kaleb get off to school, I went back to bed, full of that I-have-failed-at-everything-and-my-life-is-worthless feeling. I texted with Becky for a bit. I went back to sleep until I had to get ready for work. (I'm realizing, while I write this, that maybe I am in a bit of a downward spiral right now.) I hobbled around the library; I can't go down stairs normally, so I have been taking the elevator, which is just about my least-favorite thing ever. Then I picked Kaleb up from soccer practice and went home.
When we pulled up to the house, we discovered that Kendell had procured our neighbor's saws-all and was pruning the dead limbs from the apple tree. So Kaleb and I helped. I picked up fallen apples in an awkward way (remember...I can't bend my knees much!) and Kaleb got to run the saw. I have a deep affection for my apple tree; it's the only remaining tree from the orchard that was here before all of the neighborhood houses were built. It was a gathering place and a place to play for neighborhood kids for a long time, but now that Kaleb is a teenager, no one climbs it very often. It's messy and requires weekly clean ups (we don't ever actually EAT the apples, because I don't like chemical sprays but there are so many worms, and besides, I like to leave them for the birds) but honestly: cleaning up the apple tree mess makes me happy. Maybe that was my first real happy moment all month so far.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018. I drove to Salt Lake by myself. Kendell kept insisting he would go, but he had work and really: I wanted to drive by myself. I never have any solitude lately and it's kind of driving me nuts. So, I drove by myself. There was traffic and I was almost late to my appointment, but I was listening to my audio book (The Power by Naomi Alderman) and I just listened and drove and it was lovely.
I went to Salt Lake for an MRI on my knee. I was really anxious about this experience, as I have claustrophobia. But the doctor I go to has a new machine that's not a tube, so basically I just had to hold still for an hour. (There might've been some napping involved.) After, I drove up the canyon. Listened to more of my audio book, until it expired, and then I just drove with my window rolled down, looking at the early-fall trees and hearing the wind. It was lovely and peaceful and just what I needed.
Thursday, September 6, 2018. I told Kendell this morning: I don't care. No guilt trips. No talking to me. The boys were going to work and Kaleb was at school and I just wanted to be left alone to scrapbook. He sort-of managed it but it's been so long since I scrapbooked that I hated what I made, and just the fact that anyone was still in the house just...gah. (I have a blog post written about the problem of having your spouse work from home when you are a solitude junky introvert but I can't decide if it's just too bitchy of me to publish.) I was in tears by the afternoon.
When Kaleb came home, he wanted to go to the store to get a cactus. So I abandoned my scrapbook space and went to Home Depot. He picked out two cacti, and I found a plant I loved, so I also bought a new plant pot. Then we came home and potted his cacti and my new plant. I also got all of the houseplants outside, added more soil, and sprayed the dust off their leaves. This was another happy, good moment for me.
Friday, September 7, 2018. I got the results of my MRI today. Mixed: I have damage to the cartilage at the end of my femur, but it's not new. I have some degeneration of the cartilage under my knee cap, but it shouldn't be causing my pain and stiffness. So, I'm going to try some PT for the next month, and I'm not supposed to go up or down stairs. (That's a problem because my laundry room is in the basement, and the boys would do the laundry if I told them to but I don't really WANT them to.) Also I am definitely not supposed to run. Or to hike. Or, you know, apparently have a will to live. But my meniscus isn't torn and if I am lucky the PT will strengthen everything so that I don't have to have surgery.
Saturday, September 8, 2018. I woke up early and went to physical therapy at 6:30. I feel like I should get extra credit somewhere for that. Kaleb had a soccer game, which Jake, Kendell and I went to; their team lost 4-1 but Kaleb had two near-misses on scoring. PLUS! I was sitting on the sidelines when BAM! I got hit by a rogue soccer ball. It was kicked by a little kid, seven or eight, who apparently has a MONSTER kick because that hurt. I might've said the f word. After, we celebrated Saturday by doing errands and cleaning the bathrooms. Then we got super fancy and bought a new toilet seat for the hall bathroom. Woot! I also pruned the rosebushes and sprayed spider webs off the back of the house, and moped around wishing I could go for a run. Then we ate at Buffalo Wild Wings, which was just OK.
Other Stuff: The Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings; a bunch of trump stupidity; I decided to abandon the book I was actually reading, Three Things about Elsie, and check out the one I was listening to; I had a deep conversation with Becky about the way the Easter Island statues are symbolic in my life right now (or maybe metaphoric); I got out some of my autumn decorations and I discovered the cute plates I'd bought last year on clearance at Target in December, which was a little happy bonus, like a gift to myself from last year; I made brownies. We had sweet pork burrito leftovers way too many times until I insisted on freezing what was left.