Getting Crafty

The weather’s been a lot better since my last post. Well, mostly better. It was unbearably hot for a couple of days (with the thermometer on my porch hitting 100 degrees at one point), but I’d rather suffer a day or two of sweltering heat than another month of gray skies and rain.

Still haven’t done much of anything, though. I’ve been too caught up in either personal business (which I’ll write about sooner or later) or some projects which I’ve been meaning to get to.

Projects like learning how to make costumes and props out of craft foam.

See, my daughter has a habit of coming up with elaborate costume ideas for Halloween, and we both have interests which tend toward the geeky–interests which could be more effectively served if we knew how to make our own garb and implements to go with them.

So, I finally broke down and bought what amounts to a foam crafting starter kit. Cutting mat, utility knife, contact cement–the whole haul shown in the photo at right. And oh, ho, ho! I’m so not done shopping yet.

Anyway, if you’re wondering where I’ve been and what I’ll be doing until whenever I next update this thing, now you know the answer.

Slack and Woe

Well, my streak was bound to end sooner or later. Haven’t published a blog post since Thursday, only barely touched the socials, and I’ve done almost no work for, like, a week.

Mostly, I blame the weather.

Here in my corner of the world, we’re basically getting week-long streaks of mid-fifties temperatures, gray skies, and rain, broken up by maybe a day here and there of “partly sunny” sixties.

This isn’t exactly what you’d call “ideal” for a person whose mental state has somehow become incredibly dependent on the weather in recent years, and who’s just set walking and photography as the twin pillars of all his stress relief.

So, my last couple of weeks can basically be summed up by the following conditional…

If the weather forecast looks like crap, I will watch Netflix and maybe get half an hour or an hour of work done on something. Otherwise, I will grab my camera, go outside, and walk until my feet and legs beg me to stop.

What I really need at this point is a good four or five day stretch of solidly good weather so that a) I’m no long bogged down by whatever this environmental depression-esque mood thing is, and b) that I don’t feel like Mr. Sun is so rare I have to throw everything else aside to embrace it like it’s the last time we’ll ever see each other.

Not sure when that’s happening, though, so here, have a Buddha.

 

Walking

I’ve been walking a lot.

Now that winter seems well and truly behind us, and we’re getting the occasional, sunny day, I’ve tried to spend as much time as I can outside. Walking around the neighborhood, walking up the road, even getting dropped off somewhere else in town and walking around there—whenever I can, I’m trying to exercise and enjoy the outside.

When the weather’s crap, I turn into a total lump. The cushions on the couch, the seat of my chair–they slowly adopt the contours of my derriere and my body goes to hell. More aches, more pains, less sleep.

Especially in the winter.

Especially this last winter.

I don’t think I can point to any other four-month period of my life when I had so many muscle and joint problems, or had so many colds and bugs, as I did from this past November through February.

And that was pretty much the last straw.

This spring, summer, and fall, I’ve decided that I’m getting into shape or die trying. Not to run a marathon or go white-water rafting or anything like that. No. My goals are simple: sleep through the night, and not have to gasp for air while climbing a gentle hill.

Exercise has always, always helped me sleep better. And as for that whole “breathing” thing: it’d be a lot better if I quit smoking, but losing a solid 50 pounds and doing some cardio won’t hurt, either.

Besides, it gives me a great excuse to drag my camera out every day.

The Week, Winding Down

Alex has been on vacation this week, and the extraordinary weather has let us enjoy almost every minute of it. Taking walks around the neighborhood and downtown, visiting the local library, going out to eat—we’ve had a full schedule, but it’s the sort of schedule that recharges you, rather than leaving you a dead, shriveled up husk on the floor.

Although I am sore.

I think I’ve walked twenty miles this week, and since that’s about eighteen more than I’m used to, my legs and feet are…less than happy with me.

It’s raining today, though, so my feet get a break, and Alex and I get to watch television and play board games. Specifically, we get to watch MST3K: The Return, Lost, and Babylon 5, before playing Scrabble, Battleship, and whatever else floats our goat.

Pretty damned perfect end to the week if you ask me.

P.S. I’ve also been using this week to add to, organize, and edit my growing collection of photos (including the one at right, taken in my back yard). And you know what? I think I might be kind of good at it.

 

The Fall of Winter

These last few days have been outstanding—perfect weather, perfectly relaxing, wonderful.

After feeling trapped in the house for the winter, it feels amazing to go outside and not worry about how many toes are going to freeze and break off. Such a welcome change.

I took this photo about a week ago. About ten in the morning while on a walk with Alex. That’s ice. Ice on the ground.

And as beautiful as I think this photo is (and I think it’s one of the best I’ve taken), I’ll be just fine if I don’t meet up with anymore for a long, long time.

Unless it’s in an iced coffee.