TEN. VII.

1. I wonder if the solar eclipse energy is not just a fierce shot of the feminine (hello, Luna love), but also a bit of balance. Light and dark. The shadows dancing during the day. 

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2. I broke my new pair of shoes and dropped my house key in in the middle of a busy street while walking O to school this morning. 

But, while out on errands (read: window shopping), I found the perfect new kettle, the most adorable Autumn + Halloween decor,  a rug (that I am OBSESSED with) for the courtyard, and the perfect modern industrial basket for the stack of blankets I like to keep available for snuggling on the couch. 

See? Balance.  

3. I am convinced shelf bras in camis are not meant for large breasts. It feels like I've Ace bandaged myself.  

4. Leaves aren't changing color here quite yet, but the air . . . oh, the air is changing. Persephone's return is near and it feels like Hades is exhaling.  

5. There are days when I feel as if jeans are too constricting and overrated, and days when I wish for the most perfect bell bottoms with a thick hem and a perfect flare. 

6. Why is the queue at my daughter's high school almost full an hour before school even gets out? I don't remember school pick up and drop off being this chaotic or stressful for my parents.  

7. Why do songs sung in Hawai'ian get me all choked up? Like, I get legit emotional. Past life grief, maybe?

8. And when can I get my feet back on that sacred soil? Even if it feels wrong to be a tourist there. Like, I love it, but it feels wrong in a way, too.  

9. I'm not me when it's summer time, and I feel like I wait all year for September 21st. 

10. Freyja is just about healed and I just ordered two mini dresses (in black, of course) to rock her in the Autumn.  

Mini dresses. I haven't worn mini dresses since junior high. Who am I? 

TEN. VI.

1. I looked up content versus happy. Happy, by definition, seems to be a state wherein all your wants and needs are met. Contentment, on the other hand, comes about when you may not have everything you want, but have everything you need and are no longer disturbed by desires of more.  

2.  I sat in our freshly swept courtyard today, after having slept in and awoken to a sweet six-year-old's arm draped across my chest, after having witnessed my 17-year-old doing a happy dance in my bedroom doorway, after greeting my 13-year-old in his room and finding he'd neatly made his bed, after kissing my husband good morning as he was in the middle of washing our daughter's car in the front yard, and … I realized I am content. I am happy. How lucky am I to have both. 

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3. I want floor cushions for the courtyard, I think. And a low coffee table. A tray of candles. I want this space to be the space we step out barefoot and feel embraced.  

4. Music. The curating of perfect playlists. The way one sets a mood by simply pressing Play.  

5. Beef carnitas and salsa fresca.  

6. "Are those gladiator sandals?" he asks. I laugh because they sort of are and sort of not what I would normally wear, but I feel like my wardrobe needs to grow up a little. 

7. Tattoos have a way of teaching you the beauty that can be found in pain and the art of being patient.  

I am certain I need at least two more. 

8. The peeling stage is still gross, though.  

9. The part of my kettle that moves the cap that whistles melted. Shouldn't these parts, all the parts, be heat proof? 

10. No coffee for the last week. I miss the scent, but not much else.  

 

 

TEN. V.

1. Matte grey nail polish. It must be almost Fall.

2. The tub in our master bath is so deep I have to hold the sides to climb inside. I wonder sometimes how I won't drown in there, and realize a bath may never be relaxing since I have no chance of getting any taller.

3. Maxi dresses are life right now.

4. Catching up on GAME OF THRONES. Season six. Even knowing the spoilers, I'm still caught off guard in all the best ways. That is what amazing storytelling creates.

5. Appreciating the uncurated. But only briefly. Because mess makes me claustrophobic. 

6. Text message typing interrupted by the person you are texting, and the serendipity of knowing they were thinking of you at that same moment, too.

7. En garde, Monsieur Soleil! 

Be with someone who would slay the sun for you.

8. Eagerly anticipating the first foggy, rainy day. Now that the deck is done, the courtyard needs attention.

9. #FreyjaOfTheThigh. Baby steps toward self-love. Adorning the thunder with the goddess of love and battle and witchcraft. Plants with healing properties. A compass so I never lose my way and, if I do, I am never truly lost. Layers of pain open to healing, in more than one way.

10. Photos taken that will never be shared publicly. And wondering if that's why I take them.

 

TEN. IV.

1. Grey. The outdoor sofa and the crunching river rock and the cardigan and the sky.

2. Hot tea. Lady Grey. Sweetened and with a splash of heavy cream. The ritual of it all. Fill the kettle, ignite the flame, listen for the whistle.

3. White linens.

4. I'm going to do yoga when I wake up, I tell myself before falling asleep. But . . . when I wake up, I just want to be outside, on our deck. And this is self-care, too.

5. I will never, never be a warm weather person. Give me a day's high of 70ºF and I'd be a happy woman. This 90+ degree weather is just too much. I blame global warming.

Yes, it's a thing.

6. The knowing look on his face when I smile and stare at the filling bookcases and say, "That just really makes me happy."

7. Lavender. The scent, not the color.

8. I'm tired of unpacking already, and there is still so much to unpack.

9. Changing out of leggings just to shower and put on a new pair of leggings. Why do jeans feel so restricting during the summer?

10. Tattoo appointment tomorrow. I feel equal parts masterpiece and masochist.

TEN. III.

1. "Mama, you're so brown."

I think sometimes my kids forget I'm half-Filipina, too, but these last three weekends working in the yard seems to have reminded them. And me. Under this milky white lives golden melanin just waiting to get out. 

2. If it's going to be grey and rainy, it should be cold. This muggy, sticky stuff is ridiculous. 

3. Cropped sweaters and flared jeans. I'm so ready for Fall.

4.  Books. Boxes and boxes and boxes of them, and I feel giddy just handling them. 

5. Awake before the sun.  

6. The black dye seems to be completely washed out of my hair, and I'm not sure if I miss it enough to damage my hair further or if maybe I just miss the way I feel when my hair is black. 

7. Alphabetized by author last name, but also sorted by genre, then sub-genre, then series. Hours of work, and it doesn't feel like work. 

I feel like I would make a decent librarian. Is it too late? Have I missed my calling?

8. White paint and resin planters.  

9. The wisteria is blooming and the tendrils creep ever closer to our stucco. 

10. Why has no one invented the Everlasting Candle? I love the ambiance of real candles, but dislike the lack of longevity.  

TEN. II.

1. Grey floors and white, satin-finish walls.

2. The duvet is fluffy and soft, and the pillows are plentiful, and I wish I could strip out of these jeans and enjoy the breeze from the fan on my bare legs.

3. Coming back. To the words. To the cards. To my own reflection. Giving each thing space and grace.

4. Listening to them talk while they work. Women and video games and pointing out they are over bars. "I'm not really attracted to girls who are into that anymore. Maybe when I was 18 to 20, but not anymore."

5. Suddenly 36 feels so old. But also, really, really doesn't.

6. Eight of Wands. Inverted. And all I can think about is how his eyes met mine as I shuffled and I wondered when they would be done. Extroverted introvert. The cards always know.

7. Little brothers and estranged parents. The way you can think you know someone and they become a stranger. They way you can meet a stranger and wonder what it would be like to really know them.

8. It's that time of year when all I want is the heat to pass and the chill to settle in, and I stand in my closet wondering why I don't own more cardigans and moto leggings.

9. Roasted seaweed and fresh rice.

10. I don't want to check out, but sometimes I want to turn down.

TEN. I.

1. The relief felt on an air mattress on the floor in the new house versus all the nights on a Tempurpedic in the last house. The anxiety attached to that place had become overwhelming.

2. Light traveling along our north facing windows and the way it feels soft but still bright.

3. "Love you, momma. Thank you for letting me go. :)"

4. White letters on black felt and all the ways words give breath to space.

5. Needing to be loved harder, louder today after a night of bad dreams and giving voice to that need without shame. And being met without question.

6. Ten boxes a day. That's the goal. And, yet, it is still overwhelming. I wish I could hire someone to unpack for me, someone who could see my vision for this home and who knew exactly where I wanted everything placed.

7. I feel like my cards miss me, but also know I am not in a place to come to them with a clear head. Or maybe I'm not in a place to hear what they have to say. Either way, it is probably time to sit with them again.

8. Palo santo. Smoke curls and ash.

9. Someone remind me to find the time to sit and gather my inspiration for my next tattoo, okay? I want it done before the end of the month, ideally, so I can bathe under the next full moon without worrying about an open wound.

10. Shield maidens and sorcerers.