Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, green sunglasses, and blue shorts.
This post might not be a very good one; I’m writing it late at night, unable to sleep, after a day of flying across the country to visit my parents in Illinois. It’s such a long day of travel that always leaves me simultaneously buzzing and completely exhausted. I am not a good flier.
I was coming from Seattle, where Gabe and I were for a few days visiting friends. It was crazy to be in the city again after becoming such country bumpkins over the last year. Okay, Gabe was never really a city person to begin with, but it has been a big change for me, though a surprisingly easy one. It turns out I am a country person; I just never lived in the country before.
But as we drove into Seattle, I felt a sense of anxiety start to build, just looking at all the cars and buildings. I usually feel a little thrill when I get to the city, but not this time.
(Though I was still pretty jazzed to have not one, not two, but three grocery stores within walking distance of the apartment where we were staying [as opposed to having one tiny one that is a 15 minute drive down the highway away]. And I got to visit a fancy coffee shop and get served a great latte by a hipster instead of the hippies that I am used to.)
But my day of travel left my tired as always, even though I was actually able to work on the plane and not just spend the whole time trying to remind myself that thousands of flights happen every day and the pilot is very good at his or her job, etc etc.
It was pretty therapeutic to spend the time writing and planning instead of worrying.
These last few weeks have been really busy and crazy, and I am looking forward to some downtime while I’m with my parents. Here are a couple of things that have gotten me through these busy weeks:
Romeo is my constant. On a particularly stressful day last week, he found our front door and let himself inside. Then he hopped into my bed and made like a rolly-polly.
Can you believe this place is real? Gabe and I stopped on our way to Seattle to visit friends who live on a farm outside Salem, OR. This is in their back yard. It is a lake with a dock with a picnic table on it. It was…perfect.
Oh yes, it’s on. The star of my blog and I are getting full-on married next year. So that is a pretty great thing that has happened in the last few weeks too. 🙂
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown boots.
This week, Gabe power-washed a dirty refrigerator at a car wash. We got more settled into our new house and had a wonderful visitor. And a bear attacked a bunch of paint cans outside our front door.
Apparently the bear came over two nights in a row, the first night chewing on paint cans and walking through the paint like a (wonderful) idiot, and the second night chewing on a gas can and apparently juggling it for a bit before lumbering off into the woods.
I didn’t see it happen. I just saw the aftermath. That’s fine with me.
Probably my favorite part about my new house is the great view out the windows, into the woods and a beautiful garden. Or it might be that now Romeo comes over all the time. I can’t decide.
Today Gabe is wearing a maroon shirt and blue shorts.
Since I started this blog, almost 3 years ago, I have almost never missed a post. I have skipped maybe 3 times on purpose and have outright just missed a week due to forgetfulness or confusion maybe twice.
Last week was one of those times.
Last Friday, when I normally would have been writing on this blog, I was packing everything I own into reusable grocery bags and suitcases, and stacking them high in the back of my station wagon, and driving up the coast to my new house in the woods.
All weekend, while listening to a nonstop stream of the Invisibilia podcast, I carried load after load into my new house and deposited it all on the floor. Then, over this week, the one main stack became several distinct piles, which then moved closer and closer to their room of choice.
Pots moved into cabinets. Clothes got hung on hangers. (Anxiety dreams were dreamt.)
And I am VERY tired.
To speak on my behalf in this week’s blog post, please accept the following photographs of things that have recently happened and my best attempts to capture the beauty of my new home in spite of its current pile-based state. (Hover over photos for captions.)
Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue shorts, and brown flip flops. Romeo is wearing white fur.
Last week, on a run I had a cow encounter. An en-cow-nter? Nevermind.
I was on a run, in the same place where last summer I TOUCHED A COW’S NOSE FOR THE FIRST TIME, and this time I saw something amazing. It was better than one cow. It was, like, 20 cows.
And you guys, I touched ALL of their noses.
They were all standing in a line at the fence, just looking at me as I ran past. And what was I supposed to do? Not touch their noses?
So I went one by one, greeted the cows, and then pushed my fist slowly into each one of their noses.
It was just as satisfying as the first time. And even better because I was going to be able to do it a seemingly endless number of times.
And then something amazing? weird? gross? happened.
One of them, while I had my hand on her nose, opened her mouth. And out came her tongue. And it went all over my hand. Like, a lot.
It was warm, and weird, and like, very very soft. I guess this is the price you pay for touching a cow nose. Sometimes they are going to touch your hand back, by any means necessary.
I ran on.
This morning, I am painting the bedroom in the new apartment Gabe has been building for us in the middle of the forest in Humboldt County. The former art studio at his parents’ house has become, over the last few months, a brand new adorable living space.
Gabe has delegated paint to me (since he is literally designing and building everything else — it only seems fair), and it has been a really daunting task. So far I’ve painted the bathroom, some main living spaces, and yesterday afternoon I did the light green kitchen.
The bedroom has by far been the most challenging color to pick, because that’s the one room of the house that isn’t lined with windows. Everywhere else is so bright and light that it hardly matters what color you make it. But this bedroom…it’s dark.
I finally figured out what Pinterest is for and how to use it, and I started researching how to paint darker bedrooms. At first I chose a grey that everyone thought was too dark; then a blue that everyone thought was insane.
Today, though, I think I have the color. It’s called “Regal”, so it can’t be wrong, right?
Plus, it’s only going on two walls. (I learned from Pinterest that if you have a dark room, painting two walls a darker color can trick the eye into thinking the room goes back farther and is bigger.) So it can’t be that bad, right?
Can you tell I’ve gotten kind of insecure about my paint choices?
Well, I can’t wait any longer. It’s time to go paint. Fingers crossed.
PS. Here’s another cow I saw on my run that day, just standing in a big puddle. Cows are weird.
Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, a brown t-shirt, and blue jeans covered in joint compound.
This week I made a few impulse purchases, and for once in my life, I don’t feel guilty at all about them.
Last week, J. Crew had a sale where everything that was already on sale was another 40% off, and while I’m not usually a sucker for sales like this, I went a little bit wild last weekend shopping for weird silk shirts with tiny zebras on them and fancy bird sweaters. And by “a little bit wild”, I mean I literally looked at every single page of sale items on the J. Crew website. There were 36 pages. I looked at every single one.
Then, over the weekend, I started researching this site called Stitch Fix (ps. that’s a referral link – if you try out Stitch Fix, click that and I can get some $$) where you fill out a style profile and then they send you 5 pieces in the mail that they think will fit your style. Then you try everything on at home, keep and pay for what you like, and send everything else back for free.
Living in the fashion and beauty wasteland that is Humboldt County, I think I’ve started getting really into fashion and beauty in a reactionary way.
The more I can’t access these things, the more I want them. The more I look at blogs about what ladies are wearing. The more I find myself googling “what do you do with bronzer” and then placing large orders to get bronzer, plus “just a few other things” that I assume I’ll be needing sometime soon.
None of it is here in person. It all has to be delivered in.I mean, I don’t even know where I would go here to buy new jeans or some blush. Like, there is nowhere. So now I am getting really into seeking out and delivering it all in, to myself, as often as possible.
So I scheduled a Stitch Fix delivery for next week. And then I made a triple-digit order on Sephora yesterday, to get some soaps, and serums, and moisturizers, and several other items delivered in.
I am in consumer mode, and it is pretty fun.
I’m not normally a big spender; in fact, I think this is probably the end of my spending for a while now that I’ve gotten it out of my system this last week or so.
But a couple weeks ago I did some freelance work that paid shockingly well. It was a last minute offer, and I took it, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I made enough to bump my saving account across the goal line I’ve been working towards for months.
And after I crossed that line, I had a little left over. And I thought, “Why not?”
So, hippies and communists of Humboldt County, look out. If you see a woman in fancy shorts and a silk zebra shirt coming towards you wearing bronzer, don’t be afraid. I still respect your right to smoke pot on the sidewalk and to talk to me about your hemp clothing and what the government doesn’t want me to know. I’m just acting out.
Today Gabe is wearing a tan fleece, blue jeans, and brown boots.
I don’t think I’ve missed a week of writing this blog in, like, over a year. But last Friday came and went without a post, and I barely noticed.
And to be honest, I wasn’t sure when I would find the time (or the enthusiasm) to write this blog post either.
Such is life, when you are doing a Kickstarter.
You guys, I remember way back when (back before we launched and life as I knew it changed forever) a friend of my cofounder, Kate, saying that your Kickstarter project will become your full time job. And I remember thinking, “Yeah, that is probably true.”
But I guess I didn’t realize that by “full time” he actually meant that the project would consume the fullness of time, which is to say, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week since we launched at 6:06 am on Thursday November 20th up until 6:06 am on December 20th when the project closes.
The other day, Gabe and I were eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant (where I later went on to order and then stress-eat an enormous wet burrito). We sat down at the table and, after a long, extended silence, I said, “Sorry. I’m just trying to think of something to talk about that isn’t the Kickstarter.”
And then I talked about the Kickstarter for 10 or 15 minutes.
What’s taking so much time? Honestly, as I’m sitting here trying to quantify it, I don’t really know. Lots of outreach to people who blog about notebooks (yes, this is a thing), tweeting at people, sending out free previews of the notebook, emailing with backers…and I guess just a lot of time thinking. Thinking about ways I could be doing all of this better, more efficiently, and more effectively.
We met our funding goal on Day One, which neither one of us expected, so we’re kind of making it up as we go along. It’s amazing to be where we are already, but it’s also weird and scary. This project could end up making us some serious money for our business and could be an amazing opportunity — so I feel like there is a ton of pressure not to blow it.
And yet, “blowing it” is not even defined. So we’re working desperately trying to avoid an outcome that neither one of us can identify. And working to achieve a different outcome, which we also cannot identify.
But somewhere in there, amongst all the tweets and the late-night conversations about backer updates and funding goals — for one glorious day last week — it was Thanksgiving. And yeah, I worked on the Kickstarter for most of the day, but still, I did also manage to cook some stuffing and eat a LOT of food.
Gabe cooked a turkey using the undignified “spatchcock” method, and I made stuffing that could stop your heart. (The recipe called for an entire stick of butter, and who am I to say no?) Gabe’s parents made mashed potatoes and gravy and French bread and (out of a sense of duty) a salad. We ate five different desserts, including a pecan pie and a cheesecake, and then we all sat around digesting and playing dominos.
All day long, Gabe reminded us of the five pillars of Thanksgiving:
- mashed potatoes
It was a great day. I took a lot of photos of Gabe and Romeo. Of course.
Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, grey socks, and black shoes.
(Romeo is wearing white fur. And nothing else.) (Typical.)
You guys, this week I did something I really never thought I would do.
This week, I grabbed a credit card and went online, and I ordered The Desire Map, which is a book made by Danielle LaPorte and which is a place to think about your goals (or, you might say, your desires) and make plans to go get those things you want. Once you know what they are.
And that’s not something I ever thought I would be spending my money on.
But in the last few weeks, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what my goals are and where I actually want to go in my life. It occurred to me that instead of just thinking about these things while I go on walks, and then put those thoughts on hold until the next day’s walk, that it might actually be useful to write these things down.
And not just in a notebook, because I learned a long time ago that my attempts to journal “big ideas” usually result in the first 1-2 pages of a brand new notebook being somewhat-filled with tentative half-thoughts, and then abandoned. And later burned. Because seriously, how embarrassing.
So I thought: maybe in this case, a system would help.
Maybe someone else giving me some guidelines and questions to answer and tips and inspiring/a-little-bit-eyeroll-worthy-but-still ideas might be useful for turning those embarrassing half-thoughts into some real, actual ideas.
And so I got one.
I’m excited. And a little weirded out – I mean, buying journals about “feelings” and “goals” is really not my style most of the time. But this week, it felt like the right move.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
And as long as we’re talking about notebooks that just might change your life…
I want to share something with you. It’s a Kickstarter we launched yesterday at Popforms, and as of right now (like, right this very second!) you can pledge and support a pretty cool project and get a sweet notebook of your very own.
The Spark Notebook is something that’s been months in the making, and I can’t believe it’s actually out there and people can finally actually see the video, and the pages, and actually donate to get a real-life notebook of their own. You guys!
I’d love for you to check it out! Amazingly, we met 100% of our funding goal yesterday (like, 14 hours after the project went live!) which was insane, but really exciting and validating. I couldn’t believe it — I was basically glued to the computer all day, starting at 6am and going on until…I don’t even remember when I went to bed.
We’re really excited to see what we can do if we can keep this amazing momentum going. Adding some new goals, some new designs — we have lots of ideas.
If you like the notebook and want to pledge, honestly it would mean so much to me! Or even if you just share it on social media (you get free stuff, if you do!). If you leave a comment on this post letting me know you pledged or shared the project, I’ll send you a hand-written thank you note.
For reals. Because it means a lot, and also because I love a good hand-written thank you note.
And that concludes the notebook section of this post.
Quick poll: has anyone else noticed that yoga class sometimes seems like a competition for who can breathe the loudest? Asking for a friend. Who is a lady I don’t know. Who was sighing ridiculously loudly on the yoga mat next to me last night.