New Explorations

A couple of specific colors of paint hold me in their grip this morning. The paints’ appeal began yesterday, when I skimmed bathroom designs online. One of the paints, Wayfair’s Cashmere Gray, made an especially well-suited match for a bathroom vanity sitting atop dark wood flooring. The other, PPG’s Antique Silver 530-5, also was an excellent pairing with deep brown wood planks. In one case, white marble streaked with grey and black complemented the look. In the other, my mind’s eye told me marble would go well with the pairing. The odd thing about being captured by these colors is that I was not necessarily looking for decorating ideas; I was simply skimming some web sites to pass the time. But those specific paint colors grabbed me by the collar and shook me; “update the colors of your bathrooms,” the computer screen said to me. Paint, alone, would be insufficient to “update” the bathrooms, of course, but it could trigger a minor project that would dramatically improve the looks of the rooms. In my experience, small projects like that can be transformational. They can change one’s attitudes, putting them in almost stratospheric territory. A little like the effects some drugs can have on the brain. If nothing else, I’ll keep those paint colors in mind if and when we decide to modify, rather than move. If that’s what we decide. Still, we may decide to move. But I don’t know. Only time will tell.


Yesterday morning, we went out for breakfast at Melinda’s. I ordered two sausage rolls; they were adequate. My IC ordered Daniel’s Tacos; they were transformational (See?  I used that word again in the same post.). Seriously, the tacos were absolutely superb. Chorizo, bacon, salsa, beans, eggs…who knows what else? They offered an extraordinary way to start a Saturday morning. Both of us felt they were the kind of menu item that could keep us coming back every Saturday morning; a way to jump-start the weekend in a way that would keep us happy and smiling for hours on end. My IC made note that the tacos reminded her of the offerings at our now-favorite breakfast chain restaurant, First Watch. I assiduously avoid chain restaurants, but with First Watch I have found one I would actually seek out. Now, I can say with conviction that I will regularly seek out Melinda’s, a one-location coffee spot, for special breakfasts. It’s the little things that makes life delightful. Now, I’d like to introduce other people to Daniel’s Tacos. My Virginian friend, Jim, would appreciate them. And perhaps Patty and Ducky and Becky and Deanna and Kim and Steve and Ed and Lana and Mel and a few more would enjoy a breakfast-fest with us. I’d like that.

The downside of yesterday’s experience at Melinda’s, though, was the coffee. For a self-style coffee shop, the “dark roast” coffee was surprisingly weak, bland, and flavorless (and served in a paper cup, for God’s sake!). I suppose showing up with my own cup of French roast coffee would be frowned on with vigor.


I need a kick-start to get me going. That is, I need a dose of motivational energy to spark a whirlwind of organizational frenzy. In other words, I need a kick in the pants (or something equally as transformational…there it is, again) to prompt me to feel positive about putting stuff away, reorganizing around the house, and otherwise making this place look like everything in it was put there intentionally, versus haphazardly. It would help to have some generous and energetic friends willing to help move stuff, urge me on, and otherwise contribute to a positive mood. Or, I could hire a strong young man or two to move things at my direction; that might be the best bet. I would feel bad if a friend were injured by doing something people “of a certain age” should not do—like move furniture, climb ladders, hang pictures, put boxes up on shelves, etc.  Not to worry. The time will come. It always does. And when it does, I will get more done in four hours than I recently have done in four weeks. That’s just the way it works with me.


My IC and I strictly have avoided alcohol for two weeks, while simultaneously being quite conscious of and careful about our eating habits (i.e., little to no “junk” food). In addition, we’ve planned to get some exercise, though that has been less in evidence than has privation. The intent is to lose weight, feel better, and otherwise improve our lives through deprivation. Somehow, that seems counter to logic. It goes against the advice I see so often in memes that tells me—simply by virtue of having lived so long—I’ve earned the right to eat what I want, avoid exercise, etc., etc. Seriously, it makes good sense to watch one’s diet and get exercise. But I question the long-term value of forcing oneself to totally abandon guilty pleasures. I subscribe to the validity of the advice that we should consume “everything in moderation.” It’s easier and better, I think, to cut back than to stop entirely. Except for horribly bad habits like smoking cigarettes. Trying to cut back on smoking is akin to trying to cut back on swallowing razor blades—it’s a fool’s errand with disastrous results. Anyway, we’ll see how much longer our self-imposed torment lasts. I think, though, going “cold turkey” does have the effect of making dramatic reduction in consumption (of booze, food, etc.) considerably easier. So maybe that’s the value of self-imposed denial. Time will tell. As often it does.


I woke today considerably later than I’ve lately done, just after 5:30. While I suppose I needed the additional sleep, I miss the extra moments of profound solitude that would have been mine had I awakened at 4:00 or so. If the universe were a fair and just place, I would have access to a switch and a timer that would allow me to sleep and wake at precisely the times I choose. Thinking about it, I suppose I do have such switches and timers (I’ve heard of and actually used alarm clocks in years past), but I would rather not use them. I want my sleep to be short-lived and natural, not dictated by some monstrous machine designed to interfere with my normal circadian rhythms. But are my circadian rhythms normal? How can we know? Do we have to rely on Ph.D. or M.D. sleep experts to wire us for precise measurements, in order to know this? I do not know and I’m not sure I want to know. I like to keep secrets sometimes; even from myself.


It’s just a shade after 7:00 a.m., closing in fast on noon. That’s what happens on Sunday mornings. This morning, we’re going to church to listen to our periodic program, Music on Barcelona, where the guy who hosts Arkansongs on NPR will entertain us. I’ve heard he’s a better host than musician, but I do not know that. I would like to go in without preconceived notions, but it may be too late for that. At least I’d prefer to be pleasantly surprised by his performance. And embarrassed that I thought it would be less than a stellar opportunity to listen to extraordinary Arkansas music.

Off I go for more coffee and an exploration of a Sunday I’ve never experienced before. This should be fun!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.