Autumn

Forever Young: 1908 via Shorpy

Have you heard of Shorpy? It’s a blog of high quality vintage photographs. Most are of very ordinary, day-to-day scenes. It’s such a cool glimpse into history! And yeah… this photo has nothing to do with Autumn, but it was one of the entries today and I love it. If I weren’t sure to subject my children to the trauma of being ridiculed for their dorky outfits, I think I might dress my future kids like this… love the bloused dresses with full skirts, the big hair bows… and the little boys – so dapper! I love the little one in a bonnet.

This morning was my third year to participate in the Mid-South Race for the Cure. This year was a little bittersweet; my first time to run in memory of my Grandma C, not in honor. She was a survivor for 47 years but passed away this past Winter. I also had plans to run with a pretty cool friend of mine, J. She was one of the amazing ladies with whom I traveled to Honduras this summer. Unfortunately the shuttles were slooooow and backed up, and I arrived on site literally as the first runners crossed the start lesson. I had to back track to get my timing chip kicked in (and then got confused because it was different than last year and so my time stunk because of trying to figure it out AND being stuck in the middle of walkers for the first 3/4 mile) but crossed the finish line soon after J. I’m a little bummed I didn’t get a proper start because it felt like my best yet… but oh, well. Anyway, I got to hang out with J., who not only is an 8-year survivor but today is also her 60th birthday!

Honored to run!

The rest of the day has been just a beautiful, perfect Autumn day. I had hot shower and long nap after the race (shall we say I did not sleep the proper length in prep for a race last night) and then my roomie M. and I went to Fresh Market for a tasting event… which was sadly underwhelming (except for the uh-MAZE-ing sea-bass). I mean underwhelming as in there were only a few sample stations – it was all delicious. However we did some research and discovered that Whole Foods has their Thanksgiving tasting event next week which M. says is wonderful. Yep. Free + Food = Exciting in our book! We also spent the afternoon taking our recycling to the collection center and then looking at beautiful clothing at Memphis’s poshest shopping center. Well, M. made some purchases, but as I remain sadly poor, I just browsed. Home again for Muddy’s cupcakes (I had Cinnamon Bun – NOM!) and tea while listening to a new favorite band!

New fav!

M. heard Page CXVI at her church recently and purchased their Hymns IV CD. I’m listening to the previous 3 Hymns albums on Spotify right now. So lovely… I am something of a traditionalist and will always love singing hymns heartily to the accompaniment of an organ, but I do really appreciate new arrangements. The Amazing Grace on Hymns IV is beautiful. And read what’s behind the band’s name:

The name comes from a reference to page 116 in our copy of The Magician’s Nephewby C.S. Lewis. It is a poignant passage where Aslan begins to sing Narnia into creation out of a black void.

It starts, “In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.”
~ C.S. Lewis

Beautiful.

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend! Stay warm up there in the snow, y’all Yankee Northerners! We Southerners will continue to enjoy our perfect, crisp, sunny Autumn weather!

xoxo
Alanna

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Thoughts

Hello. O_o

Ah, yes. Question of the day: do I remember I have a neglected blog and Etsy shop?

Answer: I do. And the neglect is most definitely not from forgetfulness. C + L is actually quite often on my mind. I’ve even got a mental list of post and even post-series ideas. I’m going to be honest… this blog/Etsy venture is so much more difficult than I imagined. STINKIN’ INTIMIDATING, to be quite frank. I’ve got this paralyzing cycle that goes on in my mind. I know that to have better success with especially the shop, I’ve got to put myself out there. I’ve got to put a lot more effort into driving traffic to my store. And I even have a list of marketing ideas. But here’s the little thing that’s been messing with my mind: now I can say, “Oh there’s not many sales at the shop or followers for the blog because of me. It’s my fault… I’ve not done all the marketing projects I’ve planned.” Okay. So that’s not a super enjoyable thing to admit. But you know what’s worse in my mind? If I make the effort, put myself out there… and nothing. Because THAT means rejection. That means that my handiwork and my writing are No Good.

Oh, yes, yes… rationally I know that building up a reader and customer base takes time. Suffering through lots of dry time. But. Yeah, rational and calm thinking aren’t generally my forté when it comes to taking Big Steps to Put Myself Out There. And I do know that what others think is not in any way an actual gauge of the worth of me and my work. But yeah… try convincing my emotions of that truth.

So. FEAR. That ugly word. Fear is what’s behind the neglect. But I told y’all about it, didn’t I? I’m a good one to be motivated by accountability. When I wanted to run the 1/2 marathon last Winter, I told as many people as I could what I was planning… that way I had to do it.

Okay. I’m ready to recommit. I’m going to decorate a little moleskin to dedicate as a Blog/C+L ideas book. ‘Cause cute accessories and tools (and outfits!) are also a huge factor in motivation for me. And once I have the cute notebook, I’m going to write down all the ideas. Get them out of my brain and onto paper. And then I’m going to start crossing them off.

Thanks for listening… see you SOON!

xoxo
Alanna

Zookeeper

Zookeeper. That’s a new one to add to my always-growing résumé of jobs! I’m house-sitting for some friends this week… but not just house-sitting, I’m also watching a whole menagerie of animals. First there’s the two dogs (out of four – two are being watched by other friends) and the guinea pig. Then the aquarium full of beautiful, colorful fish, and the two turtles living in the garage. Add my two kitty crazies to that mix. And finally then there’s Ruby. Meet my new friend:

Ruby Lou Sushi

Oh, yes! That’s a pig. A cute and surprisingly endearing pig! But not a small pig. Ruby stands about mid-thigh height and weighs in, I’m guessing, somewhere around 200 lbs. She lives in the backyard and has a manger/shed on the back patio. She’s too large to come inside anymore but there’s a hole in the screen door from the dogs; throughout the day, Ruby sticks her head through the hole and oinks a ‘hello.’ I’ll grab some fresh veggies or fruit and feed her a snack. Never been on my list of potentially interesting activities, but it’s actually rather fun. She’s very gentle and sweet; takes the food out of my hand with contented grunts but never comes close to biting (yeah, she does appear to have teeth!). I think out of all the animals, she’ll be the one I miss the most when her family arrives home today. She’s quite oddly-cute, and in a funny way is a very peaceful animal to spend time with. She’s laid back and happy. I tried to scratch her ears the other day but her bristles are far too stiff and thick to let my fingers past!

Oh, and for the curious among my readers… Ruby eats 2.5 – 3 cups of cat food a day, covered over with water, sort of like a bowl of cereal. I have learnt that pigs eat and drink at the same time, so she needs the soupy mixture. Yuck.

xoxo
Alanna