Archive of 'Daily Ups & Downs'

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Un-Related, Related Notes On How To Begin (and Begin Again)

A few thoughts that have been kicking around my head lately.


One: The Yoga Mat

Textured rubber, coiled in the corner; a simple mat, waiting patiently—ready, at the shortest notice, to drop to the floor and help me regain balance.

I am reminded—on this earth we are not just minds but also bodies, and tending to one without the other is to deny our humanity.

Toes dig in, fingertips brush the floor, the others reach to the sky—feel the movement and stillness peel away layer after layer of sitting down, slouching over, stressing out, and giving up.


Two: Pen & Paper

That sound–a tiny, divine sound. The littlest skritch-scratch as tip of pen meets paper. And suddenly black, or blue, or red, or green warbles, loops, dodges and turns across the page.

The invisible made visible–magic.

Three: Courage

Courage is:

Washing the dishes.
Finding purpose.
Being honest.
Seeing beauty in end-of-day makeup and greasy hair.
Realizing that a wall is only built brick by brick.
Finally laying a damn brick on that wall you keep wishing were built.

Four: Beginning

The title promises a secret–a trick. How to begin. But you and I both already know the answer, don’t we?

The only way to begin is… to begin.

We fall off on one side and then the other. We find our way back to the middle only to see it briefly; but it draws us back to itself again and again. By the grace of God, we begin to rest in it more often than we fall. We find balance.

There will be bad days: days when you fight your way out of a web, an entangling, choking maze–days when excuse begets excuse begets… utter nothingness.

But there will also be good days–days of clarity, stillness, excitement, progress. Embrace those days, and remember to thank Him when your pen meets paper and your arms reach for the sky.

And that’s why we begin… and begin again.


Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Shopping, Scheming, Cooking, Walking – Typical Thursday Fare

Despite the fact that I never (ever) get done everything that I want to on my days off from work, the rare day does roll along where I do so much (or at least enjoy what I’m doing so much) that I don’t care.

Today has been one of those days.

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to:

- Organizing Scheming

Although I didn’t make any real headway into any one organizing project today, I did continue my thought process on all of the various areas I’m dealing with. I set out today looking for two very particular items; one, I found:


Well, okay, I wasn’t looking for exactly this. But I was looking for some way to hold 4-5 binders neatly on my desk. This will definitely do the trick, and I found it for $8 at a local recycling center. Also, I think it looks pretty cool. (And it’s not dirty, just wet. That’s a trick of the light. I will still probably give it a good cleaning, though.)

The other item was a clear plastic shoe organizer, but not one that I intended to use for shoes… I’ve ended up deciding that may not be exactly what I’m actually looking for, but I have other ideas. Stay tuned.

- DIY Makeup Scheming

Have you noticed how expensive makeup is? If you wear it, and you buy good makeup, you probably have. Have you also noticed how many scary ingredients are in it, even (and perhaps especially) the so-called “natural” mineral makeup brands? I have noticed both, for some time now, but felt like there was nothing I could do about it unless I wanted to stop wearing makeup altogether (which, silly as it is, I don’t).

Anyway, I did some furious googling today, and several hours later have pieced together what I hope will be a workable recipe for foundation; I’m going to try it out in a couple of weeks and let you know how it goes.

- Walking the dog

So this actually isn’t normal Thursday fare, which is why it’s noteworthy. I’m ashamed to say that I do not walk Otis with the frequency he deserves, and that’s a topic for a whole other post really, but suffice to say: today we went on a walk. Hooray!


- Cooking

Among other things, tonight we are making this coconut milk ice cream recipe, and if you have an ice cream maker, you should too! We tried it last week and it was simply wonderful.

Hope all of you had a good Thursday as well!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

A Foggy Evening: Winter Repeats Itself

Winter is beautiful, but it gets so little love from so many. Everyday I hear the refrains, “When will this cold end?” “I can’t wait for spring!” “I have to get out of here.” The last week or two, all complaints have focused on the cold and fog—this blanket that has settled in the valley, turning street lights and night-time tree branches into magical scenes.


And I know: winter is hard. It brings challenges for young, old, and sick; the cold requires you to bundle up, call on your courage, and take good care of yourself. It’s all too easy to long for warmth and light to replace the cold and dark.

But when did our memories become so short? Winter repeats itself. Spring repeats itself. Summer will be here before we know it. And each in turn will bring its own challenges along with its own joys.

Lord, grant us the wisdom to remember that winter is only a season—and it is beautiful in its own way.


Monday, January 14th, 2013

Happy Monday – Sickness, Health, and Otis

It’s been a sicky few days for us.

On Thursday Otis was continually hacking, like he had something stuck in his throat. Except when I looked up what to do if my dog sounded like he had something stuck in his throat, I discovered that that’s what dogs sound like when they’re coughing, and that he probably just had a little doggie bronchitis. Sure enough, it cleared up within a couple of days. Poor Bobo.


Then, on Friday, I started getting a very acute sore throat; at first I attributed it to all the dust I was kicking up as I reorganized my closet, but sure enough by Sunday I had all the other lovely symptoms: hacking, dripping, aching, etc.

So yesterday was all about bone broth and sleeping, (and watching my husband play mice and mystics, this new adventure board game he got) and today I feel well enough to go in to work again. Well, at least I don’t have a fever. It’s a start.

Here’s hoping your weekend was better than ours, and that your week isn’t starting on a sicky note! And if it is, watch these. You’ll feel better, I promise. ;)

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

What’s New Around Lylium – Design, Facebook, Society6 Sale

Have you noticed? Click on over, if you’re reading this through an RSS or other reader. I gave Lylium an impromptu facelift today!

New Look for Lylium

I needed new Social Media icons (by the way, this is an excellent source for them), and then I was feeling a new color scheme, and the rest just sorted of tumbled out after that. I have this bad habit of tinkering on my blog’s design “live,” so my apologies if you visited partway through today and wondered what on earth I was doing with that half-baked design.

Other news:

- Lylium’s on Facebook now! If you haven’t already, click on over to Lylium’s Facebook page and give it a “like.” I’m hoping this Facebook page will become a fun new way for me to interact with readers.

- Sale in my photography store: Now through Sunday (01/13), you’ll get free shipping on most items in my Society6 Store if you use this link. Perfect time for some new wall art, me-thinks.

I hope you like the new look around here; if you have any feedback or ideas for what you’d like to see me write on in the coming weeks, feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks!