In the Woods

vmmv in the woodscampyosemite campcamp yosemitecampcampI was going to title this post just “camp” but that would have been a little bit of an exaggeration mostly because nothing about my trip landed in that category. I did sleep in a sleeping bag, but I still had a lovely bed underneath me, a cabin, and actual meals that somehow taste way better when you’re surrounded in trees. Every moment of the trip was pretty fantastic. I tried to narrow down my pictures but I’ve got so many to share you probably will be seeing more of it so sorry if you aren’t a huge nature fan! I threw in some chipmunks and things though so something just has to hit your fancy.

This trip was a long time coming, my family hadn’t been to our fave spot in way, wayyy too long and to get everyone able to go the same week was something of a miracle. The four days were the perfect combination of hikes and fires, games and family dinners, cinnamon roll mornings and chance sightings of bobcats, chipmunks, coyotes, oh, and tight-rope-men: See that  picture of the crazy tight-rope-man? I’ve got about twenty pictures of him. We came across him at the top of Yosemite Valley, walking barefoot across a tiny rope strung between two rock overhangs with nothing but thousands and thousands of feet of empty air below him and one little strap hooked onto the tight-rope in case of a spill–which happened, actually, right in front of us. Apparently to the tight-ropers it was a fun adrenaline rush, to me just watching it was terror-inducing. The most adrenaline-rushing thing we did was trying to see how far the person pressing the delayed-camera-timer could run to join the group for a family photo before the shutter went off–across a bike trail and about 40 or so yards into a meadow I think was the final count before we risked getting a picture of someone’s fleeing back and everyone else’s posed faces.

Like I said earlier this week, unplugging for the weekend was so wonderful for my brain I think I’m going to try and repeat it once a month. I think it actually helps you notice smaller things like moss and caterpillar leaf-tracks, and appreciate bigger things like cliffs and meadows. When you’re just tunneling through life, you don’t notice those things and feeling frazzled and trying to charge through 100%, all the time, isn’t nearly as good I don’t think as scheduling “off” days/hours/moments and giving that time just as much importance. I’m very guilty of faking an “unplugging” externally, but keeping my brain going on what I have to do, probably should be doing, and could have done which ends up making me just as useless as if I had just kept working. My new goal? Letting my brain go be “in the woods” and being completely ok with it.

 – <3 A. 

Plain Jane

mollands.netPlain Jane: “To flatter and follow others, without being flattered and followed in turn, is but a state of half enjoyment.”

-Jane Austen in her letters

How did Jane understand blogging and social media all the way back in the nineteenth century? I suppose before “like” “follow” “share” “repin” and RSS feeds, people still loved to be approved of, popular, and admired. Ah Jane, you know people never change.

Return (some love) to Sender:

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Skype, Gmail chat, Email, Flickr, Instagram…there pretty much are endless ways to keep in touch with the people you love that may have wandered far from where you are. Its brilliant. Photo-sharing, real-time video chatting, instant messaging. Its as if they’re not far away at all…only, they are. I love social media, its a great way to feel closer to people you normally wouldn’t be able to see often. Only, sometimes a quick Facebook message or an Instagram @shoutouttosomeperson isn’t quite enough. Have you felt it? its a sense of inadequacy, of meaning well but ending up not enough. Like giving plastic flowers to your Mum on Mother’s Day. You wouldn’t, would you? The thought is there but the love is missing. At least it seems to me like that.

Remember this though?

Its a POST OFFICE! You probably forgot about those. I do sometimes. Stamps, and letters (and yes, waiting a few days), and squeaky mail boxes. I get quite the thrill when I see a personal letter peeping out at me. It really is like spotting a friendly face in a crowd of strangers. Its unexpected and in the instant I discover who its from, I instantly feel so much love from them. Someone, somewhere, thought about you, sat down, wrote to you, and then took the time to mail you some love. They didn’t log on, search your name, and say “thinking of you.”

I can’t really think of a simpler, cheaper way to tell someone “I love you bunches and bunches” then writing them a letter.

Sometimes though, even a letter falls a little short. Birthdays and special occasions don’t stop coming around even if your loved one can’t.

When this little lady had a birthday without me, I had to take extreme measures. Facebook wouldn’t cut it. And a letter wasn’t quite enough.

 My only option was to send a party in a box:

A banner made of paper-hearts, with a different memory we shared written on each one or a quote I knew would bring a laugh, and a little gift to open on each day of the week to make a birthday-away feel not nearly so lonely. A birthday box– simple to do, and the most fun I’ve ever had creating a birthday gift.

If your dear ones are scattered far and wide, don’t forget the mailbox at your own front door is a pretty fantastic way to share, and, who knows, someone may return a little love to the sender. Happy posting!

The Linen Closet

A little update for everyone: I was quite the busy-bee yesterday, if you want to see what I was up to, go to http://www.etsy.com/shop/VintageMuses. There’s a new listing up with some seasonal colors to celebrate the fall weather that has (finally!) arrived. As soon as a cloud appears, that’s excuse enough for me to start baking. Here’s a bit of a preview of the newest apron in case you need a little something to give you an excuse:

– <3 A.