Sounds harmless enough. "Gearing up"sounds so productive, almost cheerful. But not in my case. It's the process I go through in order to travel (once again) for gymnastics. As if Indianapolis two weeks ago wasn't bad enough, I am off tomorrow to Kent State University for Judge's Cup competition. Why is it that something I am so passionate about can cause me such anxiety? Who knows........ For nearly two years it's been nothing but worry and anxiety. Everything becomes an effort, an event, a monumental task that I must pull myself through in order to move forward. Judging, as opposed to coaching, offers better hourly wage and much more prestige and respect, but I have noticed that the friendships and fun of coaching are just not there for me. Infact I refer to it as the "Mean Girls Club". They are quite a clique-y little bunch. Maybe it's the required bland uniform. Much like the old Catholic school uniforms I remember. There were always that certain bunch of girls who made up for the drudgery of matching plaid by exercising the, shall we say, bolder aspects of their personalities. This clique atmosphere combined with my long-time fear of traveling makes for an extended Gearing Up session.
My way of gearing up is to gear-down. Back-to-basics. I walk every morning in the fields with the cats. This is as much to "train" them to go into the safe large back area of the property as it is to relieve my own stress. Communing with Nature (aren't I just full of cliches this evening).
I also bake and cook a lot, satisfying my need to make sure no one starves to death for the 28 hours that I will be gone from home.
Yellow squash, Vidalia onion and Swiss cheese quiche
I did manage to get 5 pretty good judging assignments for this season. Of course this will have little effect on the debt that has been accumulating over the past two years. I look out at my patio and want to see pumpkins, gourds, mums, corn stalks, but there's none of it. Nor will there be any of it in the foreseeable future. You've heard of Charlie Brown Christmas, well I'm having a Charlie Brown Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. In the midst of my moaning and bitterness yesterday I got a sudden burst of creativity courtesy of Mother Nature. I managed to create these three Autumn decorations out of things from my yard. Grapevine, bittersweet and various dried weeds. The brown wreath on my kitchen door I've entitled Yard Crap. Since it has a title that involves both Nature and a mild profanity this qualifies it as ART!
The cross-stitch starts from the previous post have become finishes.
The dolls also benefited from my "neurotic nesting". A Christmas gown...........
and a prairie dress (complete with contrasting bloomers and bonnet). Both for 18" dolls.
There is a substantial pile of cut-out items waiting to be sewn.
I finished the day with a nice bike ride. Since Bud is getting too old to walk long distances with me anymore, my bike has become my new companion. Not as much of a conversationalist as Bud, but it will do. These early Autumn days are such a mix of cool mornings and warm days that the cricket population has exploded. This one perches harmlessly on the porch doorway. While riding my bicycle I need some sort of safety goggles to make it through the onslaught of flying crickets.
I have heard that crickets are a symbol of good luck, so maybe this little guy is trying to tell me something.