Arm bind.

can you spot the difference?   (it's the horse's head)

Today Gabe is wearing a blue sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown boots.

The other day we visited a friend who has 30 chickens, 1 duck, 2 dogs, and 1 horse (pictured). I wanted very badly to touch one of the chickens, but every time I approached a docile-looking one, it would flap its wings, creating a cloud of dust, and run away just out of reach.

“Simone!” I called out to the duck, taking one cautious step towards it, and then another. Simone scream-quacked and waddled away.

I don’t have good luck approaching barnyard animals. With one notable exception, aka the greatest day of my life when I touched a cow’s nose. I love animals, and I *get* cats and dogs. They like me and I like them.

But these barnyard animals…well, I guess I just don’t have the right confidence to just grab a chicken by the gut and hoist it into my arms. And so they run away from me. And I chase them. And they run some more.

Not giving up, I walked directly into the chicken coop hoping to corner one of the dumber ones and try to touch its feathers. It was only after I’d crossed the entire length of the chicken-feed-and-droppings-covered floor of the coop that I realized I was wearing my favorite loafers.

…And now I just don’t know what to do!

I was so blinded by my love for animals that I ruined one of my other great loves – really good loafers.

They didn’t get irreparably dirty, but the bottoms were gross. I rinsed them off, and I scrubbed them on the grass and then again on my rough, scratchy doormat. But still, I can’t forget the gross place that they walked through.

Is it possible to forgive (myself) and forget what these loafers have been through? Or do I need to admit that I might never feel comfortable putting these on my carpet again, and just do the humane thing and throw them away for good?

When I finally got to the other side of the coop, all the chickens wised up and crossed back to the entrance of the coop I had just come through. On my way back across the muck, dejected, I noticed something funny:

ain't nobody here but us chickensDid you know chickens perch?

I had no idea. But as it turns out, they do, and these chickens were perched right up around eye level, looking at me.

Whether they realized in that moment that they were trapped or not, I don’t know. But I do know that I stepped over to them, stuck out my hand, and petted each of them, feeling their weird soft, slippery feathers.

They bobbed and waddled, but they allowed it.

And it almost made up for my shoes continuing to sink down into the worst place they have ever been.

This week, I’ve been listening to audiobooks: I finished Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders and am getting close to finishing Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People.

I got an Audible subscription so that I could listen to business books, but it has been really nice to have things that aren’t work-related to listen to since I do most of my audio-listening at times where I am actively trying to avoid work-related thinking (like on an afternoon walk).

Unfortunately, I don’t have any good ideas for what to listen to next. Any suggestions? What are you reading right now?

I, and my tainted loafers (who used to accompany me on many-a long afternoon walk, and may still – or may never again), thank you in advance.

Rain drop.

exploratorium   ew is this dirt? let's go inside!

Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown boots.

Oof. I had a sinus headache all afternoon yesterday, and unfortunately my week was so busy this week that I didn’t get a chance to compose an actual interesting, nice post in advance. So in place of a real post, here is a collection of miscellaneous notes from this week:

Note 1

I think I might have stopped using baking soda and vinegar for my hair washing routine. Let me explain.The other day  I was over at Gabe’s parents’ house, and my hair was feeling so dirty. Which, by the way, has been happening more and more in the last few weeks.

At first, when I started doing the baking soda thing, my hair was super clean and good looking, for many days at a time. But over time, my hair started to feel dirtier faster, and it didn’t look much different than back when I was using shampoo.

So anyways, I was at Gabe’s house. Since I didn’t want to whip up a baking soda concoction in their kitchen just so I could take a 5 minute shower, I decided to take a chance and wash my hair with the Dr. Bronner’s soap that was sitting in the shower stall.

And you guys – my hair looked amazing. Like, better than it’s looked in weeks. So I bought some Dr. Bronner’s for myself and I have been using it. And my hair looks so much better than with baking soda. I might be out of that game.

I haven’t heard many people who have quit shampoo and then gone back to washing their hair (even though Dr. Bronner’s isn’t really shampoo or even normal soap…). I wonder how many of us there are out there?

Note 2

I skipped yoga on Monday night and went to the movies instead. I saw Gone Girl. It was in some ways better than the book (the movie ending was WAY better than the book), although the characters were a little less deep than in the book…

Note 3

Here’s another yoga story: on my way into the building earlier this week, on a particularly rainy night, a guy who happens to look eerily similar to someone I went to high school with, and who I have seen around the yoga studio a lot, got to the door at the same time as me.I almost never interact with him because he looks so much like my old friend that it gives me the creeps. So to have him hold the door open for me was…a weird moment.

So I hurried up (don’t forget, it was raining) and as soon as I took my first hurried, wet step into the building, I slipped and fell directly down onto the ground.

It was one of those falls where nothing hurts; you’re more surprised than anything. One second I was up, and the next I was down. I laughed quickly to let him know I was okay, and looked up to see if he was offering me a hand.

Instead, he did nothing. He said nothing.

I said, “Don’t worry, I’m okay!” thinking maybe he was just a little bit in shock. He still said nothing, just standing there, still holding the door open as I fumbled to get up while halfway in and halfway out of the building.

Finally, as I was back on my feet and walking into the building, he said, “Did you hit anything?”

For a split second I thought about running away and quitting this yoga studio forever before I could never overcome such an awkward encounter, but decided I should probably just go to class instead. As usually, I got very sweaty.

In one great moment, though, my teacher opened the window and a cold breeze — along with a few glorious cold raindrops — blew in on me.

Note 4

I met a black cat on my street. I briefly considered becoming the kind of person who carries a baggie of kibble in their pocket. I decided against it. For now.

Worry warts.

where's gabe-o?   i think in the woods, therefore i am. (in the woods.)

Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, khaki pants, and brown boots.

You guys, I think I came up with a genius strategy for time management this week. Maybe I should write a book.

Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me run this brilliant idea past you first.

Okay, so you are gearing up for a big end-of-year push at your company. You are like, sooo busy. So busy that you just put your head down and get ready to plow through it. No time to think about how busy you are. You just have to DO.

You work hard during the day. You sleep hard during the night.

But then you do this fun thing where, during the time you used to waste on sleeping, you don’t sleep. Sure, sure, you are busy during the day and your body really wants to shut down and restore itself at night, but instead of doing this, you just don’t.

Then, you start worrying about things like renewing your lease. You start worrying about the future of your business. You start worrying about never having enough money to buy a house, ever.

You start worrying about how you’ll ever have time to keep up your personal blog, which is one of the highlights of your week, because you are so busy you can’t possibly actually think about money or the future or your blog — you only have the time and space to worry about everything.

See how easy it is? Just don’t go to sleep! Ever! There is so much to worry about!

This is the brilliant time management solution I came up with Wednesday night and you guys, wow is it effective. I mean, I can work all day un-distracted because I know I’ve got a solid 8 hours of restorative, relaxing worrying to do between the hours of 10pm and 6am.

And the best part is, your nighttime worrying can go on without end. When you worry about business phone calls you have to make about things like leases, you will never actually be able to make those calls at 3am! So you are free to imagine disastrous scenarios to your heart’s content without ever having to worry (ha ha) about finding an actual solution.

I don’t have insomnia very often anymore, but you guys, when I do — oh wow, do I make the most of it. If you think insomnia just has to be about sitting on the couch flipping through channels and staring bleary-eyed at bizarre early morning programming you never knew was on TV, then boy are you behind the times.

Oh, sir. Next time you can’t sleep, try worrying instead. You won’t believe how productive and stressed it makes you feel, which means you must be really, really important.

(This blog post brought to you by one sleepless night.)

But really. Things are fine. Don’t believe me, readers and/or Sleepless Kate? As proof, please accept the following pictures of Romeo The Cat.

perfect couple   four ears

oh so dignified   i hate christmas

hello dear   weird body, steely gaze

Role modal.

i love the woods!   let's count the trees...i see one, two, three...

Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown boots.

Well unfortunately, this week we’ve taken a few steps back.

Over the summer, I got really into the idea of dressing up nice every day because it makes you look good and feel good, and because, I mean, I am a grown adult woman who works from home and boundaries must be set somewhere.

But then, a few weeks ago, I needed to buy some new pants to sleep in because it was getting colder out and shorts weren’t going to cut it anymore. My only other available sleep pants option were these ratty old blue sweatpants I’ve had since high school, whose elastic is all but gone and that look, just, terrible.

Gabe once said, “You’re dressed like me when you wear those sweatpants.”

We both knew what he meant.

So I did some online shopping and, you guys, I found something wonderful.

I think they’re technically classified as “loungewear” but if we are being honest, I think it’s more accurate to refer to what I discovered on the internet as glamour sweatpants. And I love them.

Do you believe in love at first sight? I do. Well, not exactly love at first sight, but I have — at many times in my life — met someone and known instantly that this was going to be an important or special person in my life. I felt that way the first time I met Gabe. Same with my boss/mentor/cofounder at Popforms.

And same with these pants.

I saw them on the model and I just knew. I was about to hit “order”, but decided, even though my heart was sure, that I owed it to myself to be logical. (Though we all know love isn’t logical.) Still, I took the time to scroll down and read the reviews, and you guys — there was not one single person who had a bad word to say about these pants.

So what are these magic pants?

They are a pair of thin, slim-fitting, olive green, made-of-modal-the-best-fabric-in-the-world lounge pants and they are perfection. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them.

And as soon as they arrived in the mail, I knew I had to try them on.

And as soon as I tried them on, I knew I was ruined.

First of all, they look great. They’re flattering, they’re understated, they go with everything…they are just perfect.

Second of all, they are so comfortable. The fabric is so soft, and the shape is comfortable without being baggy and weird.

I look forward to going to bed every night because I know I’ll get to wear them and feel so comfortable but beautiful and also so cozy and happy.

And with all kinds of intense, all-consuming love, it went a little bit too far.

This week, finally, despite all my best intentions, came the day where — on one grey, misty, “don’t want to get out of your PJs morning” — I went for a run, took a shower, got dressed…and made the decision to put on my glamour sweatpants instead of real pants.

We’ve wandered into dangerous territory. Mistakes have been made.

But how can love that feels this good be so wrong? Maybe just for one day, it’s okay to wear your glamour sweatpants while you take business calls and write marketing strategies. Right? Right??

High pony.

someone was not in the mood to have their photo taken   maybe if i stand very still she will stop taking my picture

Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, a black t-shirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.

This week I discovered that my poor dear English ivy plant is now the home to a family of spiders. Well, more like a womb of a family of spiders.

A few weeks ago, I moved my ivy plant outside because it was dying and I didn’t know what else to do. After I did that, my mom told me it might have been wilting because it was in a too-small pot — which turned out to be exactly the case. I repotted it in a bigger pot and trimmed back the longest vines so that the growth would be focused at the center, rather than sending all the good stuff out to the longest ends of the longest vines.

But it seemed to be doing well in the sunshine, and so, naively, I left it there.

And now it can never come back.

You guys, there are bugs outside and they will just make themselves at home in whatever they find that seems hospitable. Even your English ivy plant that is ONLY THERE TEMPORARILY. But is now out there for life.

I went out to water it yesterday afternoon, and thought, “It’s looking so good. It’s finally time to bring this baby back inside so it can keep beautifying my bathroom.”

And that exact moment is when I noticed a little spider web between a couple of the vines. A spider web dotted with dozens of tiny, baby spider eggs.

Goodbye, English ivy plant. You can never come indoors again.

I mean, I tried clearing the spider web out, but listen you guys — once you have seen a web of baby spider eggs on your plant, you will never be comfortable living with that inside your house.

Making the decision to bring that back into your house is like making the kind of decision people in horror movies make.

“You guys, it’s fine to go into the basement despite all the spooky warnings, right?”

No, it’s never alright. Did you not see all the spooky warnings??

And even if there’s not a nightmare spider apocalypse scenario HAPPENING IN YOUR HOME WHERE YOU SLEEP, then you at least will spend probably the rest of your life with that twitchy feeling that there might be something crawling on you, because you know that there is a not zero percent chance that there is a family of spiders being born at any second in your house.

Listen, I know spiders are everywhere and there still might one day be a family of spiders born in my house that take over and I have to move out and just leave them all my stuff. It still might happen.

But I am not going to be the one to make it happen by bringing a tainted ivy plant inside just because I want a beautiful bathroom. No sir.

Hall pass.

you coy devil, you   who me?

Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, blue shorts, brown flip flops, and green sunglasses.

To say that I was disengaged during high school would be an understatement.

And when I say “during high school”, I mean literally the time that I was inside my high school, from 7:55am to the time the final bell rang at 2:25pm. I wasn’t a super sulky teen who just didn’t care — I was an editor on the newspaper, I had friends and boyfriends, and I knew that continuing to be a very good student would mean going to a very good college, which was all I had cared about since I was about 12 — but by the time I was in high school I was so bored during school every day that I checked out mentally for huge blocks of time on an almost daily basis.

I would wander the halls every single day.

I would ask to go to the bathroom in a different class each day and, knowing I had some A-student credibility built up, I would just leave and go take a walk for 10 or 15 or 20 minutes. No one ever stopped me and I never got up to any trouble while I was on my walks; I just couldn’t stand to be in class anymore and so I would go take a walk, look at art projects hung on the walls or read student council campaign signs or look at old photos in the trophy cases, and just enjoy a break.

I bring this up because this week, I was re-introduced to my checked-out self — who I haven’t seen in years — and it brought memories of wandering the halls of high school and taking a mental vacation when you’re somewhere you just don’t care to be anymore.

It was Saturday morning, and I wanted to take a yoga class. Gabe was out of town and I was feeling antsy, having given no thought to what I wanted to do with a weekend on my own. This was my first mistake.

I don’t usually take yoga on Saturdays, and so I didn’t know any of the teachers who were teaching that day when I decided I needed to take a yoga class.

The one who happened to be teaching an “all levels” class closest to the time I wanted to go had the kind of “why yes, I AM a yoga teacher” name that tends to give me pause when selecting my teachers. I won’t re-print it here, but suffice to say, people who have self-given touchy feely names tend not to be a good fit for me.

But I decided to be cool and non-judgmental. I mean, I quit using shampoo! I can be very cool and into hippie culture, right?

(As it turns out: no, not in all cases.)

When I got to class everything seemed fine at first. Nice music, good vibes, and poses I could handle. But I noticed she had a very distinct way of talking. And by distinct, I mean impossible.

She would whisper, inaudibly, “now just roll ontoyourback..spreadyourfingers…putyourkneesup..”

“AND RISE!!!!” she would shout.

11 heads pop up, having missed the previously whispered string of instructions, quickly eyeball the pose the teacher is in, and scramble to mimic it.

“Okay. Now…whileonyourback…lift your hips and your arms over your head.”

“AND RISE!!!!!!”

11 heads pop up, wondering how to get your hips and your arms over your head at the same time.

This, on top of a lot of talk about love and those annoying reversing platitudes that fold in on themselves (“what is inside you is outside you, etc”), and by about 45 minutes in, I was out.

I was not engaged, to the point where I didn’t care if she thought I was doing a good job (which, you should know by now, is generally my only motivator in yoga: pleasing my teacher). I was bored. I wanted to leave.

And so I did something I’ve never done in a yoga class before. I left.

Not for good, but I just stood up, walked to the door, and went for a wander around the halls.

I looked at a clock I’d never noticed before. I got a glass of water. I read the rules for the sauna, which it turns out, have some pretty funny jokes in them.

It was delightful. I stayed out there for maybe 5 minutes, but those 5 minutes made it possible for me to come back to class and actually do some yoga that pleased me — rather than just running out the clock and waiting for it to be over.

And my walk did what my teacher could not — it brought me into the present moment; it relaxed me; it tuned me into the world around me that I see all the time, but fail to notice. I stopped thinking about how bored I was, and found something to appreciate and enjoy.

Gabe doesn’t like going on my daily long walks with me (though he humors me more and more every year by coming along) but I wonder if my need to go walk around, even on the same route every day like I used to do in Seattle, comes from those days back in high school where a little walk was a special, just-for-me time I was completely present during the day, and appreciating a place I normally couldn’t stand to be.

I don’t know.

After yoga, I did a shopping trip to see about making my own homemade deodorant but ended up buying a pre-made hippie version when I couldn’t find one of the key ingredients for my recipe. Sigh.

Shake it.

baby beluga   the perfect couple

Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt and red shorts, and he’s kicked his brown flip flops off to the side.

Well, you guys, I washed my hair. And, if you’re keeping track you’ll remember, by washed I mean rubbed baking soda into my scalp and dipped the ends of my hair in vinegar. And you know what? My hair looks — normal!

I washed it on Saturday, after a week of not washing per the internet’s directions, and on Tuesday evening it was still good to go. In fact, it was better than it ever would have been going that long between washes before. I didn’t wash it again until Thursday.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean I didn’t shower — I do live a normal human life which includes things like exercise and being a functioning member of society. I just didn’t put anything in my hair. Nothing but a good scalp rub, which is apparently (again, according to the internet) all you really need to do to keep things from getting weird.

One of my biggest motivations for this (other than great hair) was a desire to spend less time in the shower, which has been one of my favorite parts of this whole process. The more days I can go between showers, and the less time I spend in each of those showers, without becoming a disgusting person, is a huge win.

Now, in other news not related to my hair but still related to my shower, the English ivy plant that I put in my bathroom is dying. And I don’t know why! I know this kind of ivy likes indirect light or even shade (my bathroom window is surrounded by big redwood trees) and I’ve heard it likes humid conditions too. And what is more humid than the place where showers happen??

But still it is losing lots of leaves and the leaves that are still there are losing their color. It’s vines are getting longer, but nothing else about it seems healthy. I AM DEEPLY CONCERNED.

This afternoon I put it outside, sighing an exasperated “Why are you doing this to me?”. Maybe some sunshine and fresh air will help? I have no idea. Maybe it’s not even dying. Maybe it’s just mad at me for buying another new plant.

I bought a Dieffenbachia Compacta (also known as Dumb Cane, which seems unnecessarily mean) for my bedroom, which is one of the darkest, shadiest rooms in my house and so one of the hardest to find a plant to put in. But today I found Dumbo, the dumb cane, who loves to grow in shade and is only slightly poisonous to humans if eaten, but let’s all just promise to be grownups and not to eat this plant, okay?

On the flip side from its poisonous streak, it’s also apparently great at removing toxins and pollution from indoor air — this according to NASA. (Why are they studying this? I don’t know.)

Other things that happened this week, unrelated to my shower:

mad river madness   muy rapido

woofer   everything's fine here