It's Friday and I'm ready to go home, but facing a couple more hours worth of work. Presently listening to this on my ipod and wiggling around in my seat to prevent myself from running out the door in search of happy hour. Very awesome video--they showed this on screens when they played Phoenix. Happy weekend!
Just a few blocks from our home, the streets begin to look more and more like Mexico. There's a ferretería, a llantería, a florería, a panadería...best of all, there's a paletería. Among many other reasons, I love this because it means that I can stop in for a paleta (popsicle) and pretend that I'm out traveling someplace that requires a passport.
On a trip through Mexico we spent a handful of days in San Blas. Just doors down from our hostel we found a new addiction. A paletería with cooler after cooler filled with homemade popsicles in exotic flavors, some of which we'd never heard of. A few times a day we'd go in and grab another flavor, trading back and forth to try and discover our favorites, and brag when ours turned out to be the better choice. Jackfruit? Guanabana? Rompope? The winner: mango. There is nothing in the world to top a fresh mango popsicle that breaks apart into little pieces of mouthwatering mango fruit on your tongue.
And so, when it's 106 outside and the A/C in our car has long since given up the ghost, sometimes the best thing I can do for my spirit is to stop, have a popsicle, and daydream. Even better if that popsicle is of the mango variety.
Maybe it was my suburban upbringing, but I really, really get excited about riding public transportation. I mean, you get to sit and look out the window, people watch, read the paper, read a book, knit a scarf...to me it feels a little luxurious. And contrary to what I'm sure the majority of America would think, I find it much more relaxing than driving.
So last night I was looking forward to running my errands via Phoenix's lightrail. Only catch is, from our apartment we are a little too far to walk to the railstop, so I ride my bike. What I dread (DREAD)is placing my bike on the hanging racks once I'm on board. Placing one's bike vertically into the rack is no big deal if you've got pretty good coordination (nope) or respectable upper body strength (nope) OR little enough of the first two attributes to silently solicit help from kind strangers.
As I struggled to get my top tire on the ceiling hook while trying not to step on the woman behind me or hit myself in the face with the handlebars, I felt the bike get very light all of a sudden. A man large enough to have played pro football was effortlessly hanging my bike for me. The kindness of strangers makes my heart want to burst everytime.
Photo from this DesignSponge sneak peek. This is my dream home, PS.
I am not a tidy person. Never have been. My childhood room was always covered with a six inch layer of toys and clothes. I find something incredibly delicious in kicking off a pair of jeans and leaving them heaped on the floor. Calling this an inherited trait would be a total cop out, but also the complete truth. My husband is slowly breaking me of some of these habits--I now make the bed, put said jeans in the hamper, clean the kitchen as I'm cooking--and I love it. But I still have such a long way to go.
I lose a drivers license, debit card, camera cable, etc. once a week, only to discover it 24 hours later lurking in a deep, dark corner of my purse. Every morning I scramble for what to wear. My workspace is stacked tall with unfiled papers. My car has clothes in it that haven't been worn since last fall. I long for a neatly-folded, rainbow-ordered, biggest-to-smallest, organized existance because I realize that I'm losing so much time looking for what's right under my nose.
Busy, busy weekend (bursting at the seams in a good way). My brother and I made the tour from Charleston to Camden to Columbia and back on Sunday to visit our amazing grandparents.
Sunday was a gorgeous day and we did our driving with windows down. We took the backroads to Camden to soak in the rural scenery, and passed through field after field of cotton ready to be picked. Stopping for a picture I was blown away by how quiet it was out in the middle of those cotton fields, and how rarely I experience true silence.
Every time I visit I learn something new about my grandparents that makes me love them even more. The stories that they tell are priceless--about their childhoods, my parents' childhoods, our grandparents who are no longer with us, the glory days, the hard times...it was so tough to leave.
Fall in the south is a big deal. A big, big deal. Ask any Charlestonian about the month of August and they will describe what sounds like the inside of the devil's mouth: hot, muggy, oppressive...But for some reason all of that seems to change on September 1st. It's like everybody's cried uncle and the south decides it's time to make us love it again.
I was thrilled to spot the first colorful fall leaves on the ground outside my parents' house. For me, fall smells like those leaves. It feels fresh like the start of a new school year and just-purchased blank notebooks waiting to be filled. There's some sort of excitement in the crisp air that takes me right back to high school football games in the mid-west. This fall is going to be great. I can feel it.
I don't think my snooze button has ever gotten this much of a workout. Excited about turning off the alarm on Saturday and catching up on my rest. Even more excited about getting back to my own bed (our own bed) next week.
We don't get much of what I'd consider weather out here in Phoenix. Either the sun is shining or the moon is out. Rarely are there clouds, thunderstorms are even more rare. But. When there is weather in the desert, it's extreme. Before moving to Phoenix I had never heard of their summer monsoon season. Monsoons, really? But it seems so dry...
Living in the southeast, I was deep in my element--namely the humidity. I am one of the few people crazy enough to love it. It makes my hair feel better, and my skin, too. When I step off of a plane and it wraps its warm damp arms around me, I know I'm home. This is why when weather finally does roll into Phoenix, I am standing out in the middle of it like a wild woman, drinking it in.
There were big clouds on the horizon yesterday evening around sundown, which made for a colorful sunset. This was followed by a delicious downpour. I kept my feet in a puddle for as long as I could, grinning ear to ear.
On Sunday we started what's sure to become a new summer recipe staple. Taking two of my favorite in-season summer vegetables, we baked an old Southern classic: Tomato Pie. Well, not just Tomato Pie, but Tomato and Corn Pie (from Smitten Kitchen).
Delicious would be an understatement. This was roll on the floor, laugh out loud, try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting good. We baked it together, with me rolling out the dough while K peeled and juiced the tomatoes. We took occasional breaks to shimmy around the kitchen to The Stones. We're more cooks than bakers, but we did this without a hitch. Our first pie!
Anyone who still has just a smidge of tomato and corn season left...you owe it to yourself to bake this. Really.
...is our new dining room table. We'd been looking high and low for a mid-century modern dining set for months. Phoenix has the best thrift stores I've ever seen for vintage finds, so we knew it was just a matter of time. This solid teak double-leaf-having beast of a table came to us on bargain day--half price.
I can just see this beauty all decked out for a dinner party after a bit of sanding and some teak oil. Oh, and when we have a space large enough to hold the table AND chairs to sit on. Baby steps.
Over the course of the last couple years the blogosphere has become a part of my daily rituals. I've laughed out loud, dripped tears on my keyboard, and been inspired by people all over the world that I'll likely never meet.
Now I'm hoping to inspire myself.
My life right now is full of changes; all of them good, some of them requiring much, much more adjustment than others. The thing that always gets me through is not usually taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, but taking a step forward and finding the beauty in the tiniest of things. Maybe it's cooking my husband dinner, writing a letter to make a friend smile, or just watching the way the Arizona sunlight hits the sidewalk--even when that sidewalk is hot enough to melt my shoes. My aim here is to force myself out of my comfort zone, to hold myself to trying new things, to try and contribute to the blogging community that I so admire with my thoughts and photos, to continue looking for the joy in simple things...