What I’m Into Right Now

I haven’t been able to decide what I want to write about, so I’m going to write a little bit about a few of the things I’m doing these days. It seems I’ve turned into the “woman who lives alone and goes days without leaving the house, watches birds and Ozark, dances in her living room, makes baby blankets, eats homemade donuts, has game night with the kids, and is in a loving, passionate, and fun relationship with someone she met on a dating app.”

Bird watching

I’ve become a bird watcher and a bird listener (is that a thing?). My place is surrounded by trees. I don’t call it my nest for nothing. I can hear the birds singing and calling to each other from any room. Other than the cardinals though, I couldn’t identify any of them. So of course I went to my favorite source for all knowledge: Google. I found an app (Merlin by The Cornell Lab) that I can use to identify birds by recording their songs. Turns out I live among Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees, the Eastern Phoebe, the Tufted Titmouse, the American Goldfinch, and the Gray Catbird, plus lots and lots of Northern Cardinals. I’m fascinated by them and I like that I can observe them without having to use binoculars.

The view from my kitchen

Zumba with Zumba Sulu

I was on YouTube the other day headed to one of the Yoga with Adriene videos when I stumbled upon this guy and his 15-min salsa workout. He was barefoot, handsome, with a great smile and infectious energy. I switched gears and did his workout first and then yoga. Several days and videos later I checked out his website and read that he lives in Germany. Since he doesn’t speak in any of the videos this took me quite by surprise. Guess that’s stereotypes at work.

Reading

While I still haven’t found the time (or maybe the idea) to write another short story, I’ve been reading more. I’ve been reading about writing, particularly how to write good sentences. I’m not sure how much I’ve absorbed though, as this particular post is not necessarily full of great sentences. I’m also reading crime novels. S turned me on to Lars Kepler novels. Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for a Swedish husband and wife writing team and I would put their books up against Harlan Coben’s best (I’m a big fan of the Myron Bolitar series). I’m also reading the Bridgerton books. Actually, I’ve read one and listened to a second (in audiobook format) Up next and waiting for me later this weekend is Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Watching

I was so excited to watch the new season of Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix that I binged all the episodes in just a couple of days. I want more! Seeing the joy on Phil Rosenthal’s face when he bites into something good, watching him interact with the kids, talk about his parents, tease his brother, and travel the world….. just makes me happy. It makes me want to get up and go! To cook something new! Try a new restaurant!

I also binged Ozark, The Circle, and just started The Lincoln Lawyer. I’m ready for the next season of Bridgerton, and I’m getting a little impatient for more of The Great British Baking Show.

Crocheting

One f the great things about finding a good show to watch is that I can do that while crocheting. I just finished a baby blanket that’s headed to Blacksburg, Virginia right now, and I’m ready to start the next one for a little boy in Newport News.

Eating, cooking, and drinking

My newest cookbook is by Tieghan Gerard, the food blogger at Half-Baked Harvest. The day I got the book I think I flagged at least a dozen recipes I wanted to try. So far I’ve made a delicious pizza, a tasty salad, and some pretty good meatballs. But you know what, I’m not the only one making wonderful food these days. S is a pretty good cook himself. Last weekend he made red beans and rice, a very tasty burger the weekend before, and this morning he made a full breakfast with eggs, potatoes, and bacon.

Last weekend I made a cocktail from the Skinnytaste site and it’s going to be one I make again, maybe tomorrow: a basil-cucumber gin cooler. So refreshing! Tomorrow the kids and their SOs are coming over for dinner and game night. I’m making steak fajitas and my homemade salsa (it’s been far too long) and I think S is making a side. Kids are bringing chips and drinks.

Listening to

I haven’t been doing my Music Fridays post regularly this year but I’m still listening and dancing in my office! My newest downloads include Harry’s House by Harry Styles (I particularly like Late Night Talking), Cuando me da la Gana by Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson’s cover of Happier than Ever, and Serotonin, by Tom Walker.

Looking forward to

I think one of the keys to getting through the work days is having something to look forward to. Right now I’m looking forward to a visit to the office next month. I will get a chance to meet new colleagues in my department, spend some time brainstorming, and see some old friends. I’m also looking forward to a short getaway with S in August for a Black Keys concert in Atlanta. And he’s also trying to figure out a beach trip in October after the wedding is behind us. It should go without saying, but for the record… I’m also looking forward to Allyson’s wedding. It’s going to be a fun time with family and friends and she’s going to make a beautiful bride.

Love

Yeah, I like love a lot. I like being in love. I like being part of a couple, being in a relationship. S told me last week that his daughter was grilling him about us: are we getting married, are we moving in together, where is this going? I laughed. We ask ourselves those same questions. We’re in no rush to answer them, but I think we both agree we’re not thinking about marriage. When too many days pass without seeing each other (and some weeks two days feels like two weeks), we do think about these questions more. At least I know I do. We both spend a lot of time (individually and together) browsing on Zillow, not really knowing why… or maybe we’re not ready to think about why. I told him last night that I thought living alone would be hard, but it’s really not. It’s easy right now. It’s easy to get into a routine and not want to leave the house. The hard thing is to think about living with someone again and what making that happen would entail.

But that’s something to think about later. Another time. For now, it’s time to make some salsa and put on some music, and look forward to seeing S again tonight.

And it may not be Friday, but here’s Tom Walker’s Serotonin; enjoy!

Links in case you’re interested:

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