Love Potion

DAY 31: LOVE
DAY 31: LOVE

Almost every morning, my husband makes us a pot of tea. Real tea, with loose leaves, a mesh steeping basket, and water brought to boil then just briefly left to sit. He’s even been known to make me coffee, although he doesn’t drink it himself. He says he just likes the smell.

And I more than like him.

This is the final day of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. I want to thank and share the love with all those who liked and supported me this month, in particular commenters Maureen, Bonny, Karuni, Linda and Shirah. Everyone who stopped by kept me going with your camaraderie and encouragement. Plus, a big shout out to Meg of Meg Wolfe Writes, who accepted my double-dog dare, and not only joined Instagram, but also used Susannah’s visual suggestions as a starting point to blog about her own writing prompts while she works on a second novel in her mystery series. If you are a writer, I highly recommend that you check out Meg’s insights!

Take away for this second time around: I really enjoyed the interesting topics (thanks Susannah!) and the addition of Instagram this year to help me see everyone’s creative interpretations of the daily prompt. As for the diet challenge, going public kept me accountable so I only cheated twice, to celebrate a friend’s birthday with a little champagne, and a few sips of G & T while listening to some live music on a Friday night (hey, I’m not a saint and besides, no gluten was involved). I’ll write more about the autoimmune protocol results later, but I will say that blood pressure and TSH were greatly improved at my doctor’s visit this month. Yay! Hope everyone has a great weekend (and Labor Day in the US).

Bunny Fur

DAY 30: SOFT
DAY 30: SOFT

His coat has grown coarser as he’s aged, but the pure snow of his belly still reminds me of a pet rabbit my brother set free long ago.

My cat hates that comparison.

This month I’m taking a photo a day and following the topics of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. And why don’t you join me? I double-dog dare you!

Where the Sidewalk Ends

DAY 29: NATURE
DAY 29: NATURE

On my morning walk, I pass a deserted stretch of parking lot cracked with worry, where weeds have found their foothold and sidewalks of forgotten purpose march straight into the restless thicket’s wild lair, only to disappear under encroaching abandon, because there is no end.

This month I’m taking a photo a day and following the topics of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. And why don’t you join me? I double-dog dare you!

Look what’s coming to dinner

DAY 28: SOMETHING NEW
DAY 28: SOMETHING NEW

“What’s new?” could be the overwhelming question of the year for me, especially this August. Everything is a first: new food, new diet, new cooking equipment, new kitchen, new living arrangements, new lifestyle, new world. I am nothing if not adaptable, but I may be taking things a little too far this time. Still, when I stop long enough to savor these unknown territories, I’m impressed with the view.

Take these colors for example! Oh, the beauty of food in its purest form is always a wholesome revelation that I need pounded into my stubborn brain (and spooned into my mouth) every few months. I gaze at all those vibrant reds, yellows, oranges and purples, the source of my newfound health on parade, not to mention those multitudes of greens. I’m learning to be unafraid of exotic produce, to march right up to them and twist their little hats off, to peel them out of their skins, to slice them thinly and bathe them in coconut milk and olive oil, then toast them until they surrender to the touch.

The stove may be a battlefield, but there upon the dinner plate this will always be their finest hour.

This month I’m taking a photo a day and following the topics of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. And why don’t you join me? I double-dog dare you!

Morning Mists

DAY 26: MORNING
DAY 26: MORNING

The parade grounds of our old army fort nearby remind me so much of my historic college campus back east. The massive oaks and maples enveloping colonial red brick hover along the edges of memory’s mist, and for a moment, it is move-in day of my freshman year, a scared newbie trudging down the mossy dark stairs of the registrar’s office to pay my (tiny to today’s standards) tuition and board, lining up for my college ID, and clutching a class schedule that would lead me into the morning.

This month I’m taking a photo a day and following the topics of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. And why don’t you join me? I double-dog dare you!

Gonna Be A Scorcher

DAY 25: LITTLE
DAY 25: LITTLE

I took the photo above at dawn on a Monday, acknowledging that this would be the smallest version of the sun I’d see all day, tipped off by meteorological gossip at the weather water coolers that our solar boss has big plans the rest of the week. Don’t know about you, but I’m staying out of his way, preferably with a cool drink and some AC.

This month I’m taking a photo a day and following the topics of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. And why don’t you join me? I double-dog dare you!

Life in Pictures

DAY 24: MEMORY
DAY 24: MEMORY

One of my post-move culling tasks still waiting in the wings are the photo boxes. Beginning with the 1980s courtship days right before my marriage, the photos run hot and heavy through wedding and honeymoon, birth of our daughter, birthdays, holidays, first day of school poses, puppy and kitten adoptions, family trips, and fuzzy shots of the many places we’ve lived, only to fizzle out in the mid-2000s when I became too lazy to print out shots from my new-fangled digital camera.

For years I carefully arranged them by date in photo albums so that our young daughter had constant access to all stages of her life, and the far-away relatives she seldom saw. It was a way for her to remember, as album pages became dog-eared and bindings fell apart. Eventually, they all ended up in two photo boxes, hundreds of memories lined up chronologically, waiting to be plucked out of time.

Instead, they remained forgotten in closets, and now under a table in my bedroom. My plan is to digitize from all the negatives I’ve stuffed in envelopes over the years. As for paper copies, the best will be saved, and countless duplicates, out of focus, or underexposed pictures will eventually go to the trash compactor, although it will take guts and possibly a good shot of spirit to send the proof of memory down the chute.

This month I’m taking a photo a day and following the topics of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. And why don’t you join me? I double-dog dare you!

In the Mood

DAY 23: ADORNMENT
DAY 23: ADORNMENT

Remember? Beaded moccasins, suede fringe, burned leather bracelets with a snap, those elephant bell bottoms that covered your entire foot and reached to the floor or else they were considered high-waters. And to this day, I still feel a tad bit uncomfortable when I have to wear white socks.

Back in the 70’s, I wore a mood ring, as well as the snap bracelet and a peace-sign medallion on a leather cord (that I wish I’d kept). But even though my hand looked pretty cool with it on, the ring and evidently my mood were always dark because my hands were so cold.

Many, many years later, I find a new mood ring in my Christmas stocking, with a peace sign no less. And thanks to my alternating hot flashes and chills, I’m happy to report that the ring and I enjoy a revolving rainbow of moods.

It’s the only time I can truly appreciate menopause.

This month I’m taking a photo a day and following the topics of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. And why don’t you join me? I double-dog dare you!

Giant in the Grass

DAY 22: SHADOW
DAY 22: SHADOW

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, daylight’s time is shortening and summer’s silhouettes are lengthening even as the heat and humidity are just warming up in weather’s ballpark. It’s been a funny little summer, expectations distorted by cool Canadian air that has wandered away from the tour group and gotten lost in suburbs full of empty pools and quiet air-conditioners.

But Canada has returned home now, leaving behind its fire pits that will be fired up again come autumn, so the next time I see my shadow may well be by a bonfire’s dancing glow. Now, where did I put those marshmallows?

This month I’m taking a photo a day and following the topics of Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. And why don’t you join me? I double-dog dare you!