Daily Archives: January 31, 2012

Adventures from Unplugged Week

I’m on week four of a twelve week creativity course called “The Artist’s Way” and for this entire week the instructor has assigned reading deprivation.  No reading whatsoever.  I know… horrifying right?!  But wait there’s more… for me this also includes unplugging from the Internet and TV.  Just kill me now and put me out of my misery!   I am allowed to write however, so I thought… should I not happen to survive this week, I would write about the adventures that led to my untimely demise.  😉

Day One:

Got my hair colored and added more purple!  Just a subtle little streak on my left side-burn over my brunette color, so it doesn’t show a whole lot.  But oh goodness I love, love, love the way my stylist colors my hair!  She also fixed the hideous haircut that I got from a different stylist earlier.  Okay I’m exaggerating, it wasn’t really hideous and usually I like the way the other stylist cuts my hair, but this time she had cut my bangs too short and didn’t blend them with the rest of my hair.  I hated it and it made me crabby.  I have this obnoxious cowlick in my bangs that causes me  serious mental issues and I have slight OCD with needing my bangs to lay just right ~ which they rarely do… which explains my periodic bouts of insanity from time to time.  Well, that explains part of it.  Hah!

Then me and my gorgeous new hair went out to eat at Olive Garden (my fave restaurant) with my daughter & my mom.  Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy my spaghetti 😦 ~ should have known better and gotten my usual fettuccine alfredo.  It was still fun though and I had a coupon!

After dinner we went to a thrift store where my daughter found a few fun things.  When we went to pay we were pleasantly surprised to discover that particular thrift store offers an extra 25% off everything on Tuesdays.  Today is Tuesday… so bonus!

When we brought my mom home she showed us something very special and sentimental that she found in her basement earlier that day.  My dad’s accordion!  We thought it had been lost over the years, but there it had been all along… pushed way into the back of the far reaches of her basement like a long forgotten buried treasure!  My daughter is quite musical so we put it in her arms to see if she could figure out what to do with it.   Which ended up being not much, but she gave it a good effort.  It’s too bad my dad wasn’t able to show her how to play before he passed away.  With tears in my eyes I snapped this pic with my cell phone’s less than stellar camera…


Day Two:

Went to Como Park Zoo today!  The zoo… in January… in Minnesota…. who woulda thunk it?!  Apparently not too many people because we basically had the whole place to ourselves ~ which was wonderful!   It was around 30 degrees and the sun was shining much of the time so it was a beautiful winter day.

All of the animals were active and up close to the observation areas ~ the most exciting for my daughter were the wolves…

There is also an absolutely wonderful conservatory there and my daughter and I just wanted to go and enjoy some green and growing things ~ the perfect antidote for those winter blahs…

Their Sunken Garden area (the most flowery part) was closed off for maintenance, but we did happen upon some other blooming beauties…

And did you know that chocolate grows on trees?!  We came across a tree that was identified as a chocolate tree and this sign was posted next to it…

So interesting!  The zoo was the perfect place to nurture my inner artist child. 😀

After the zoo we went to pick up my mom and went out to eat again.  This time to Baker’s Square, where we hadn’t remembered it was “Pie Rush Wednesday” so we had the unexpected surprise of getting a free slice of pie!  So much for my diet…  But it was free 😉  And it was very yummy!

Also today… I reluctantly returned all of my library books since I’m not allowed to read for a whole week and didn’t want to be tempted.  😦


Day Three:

Ran errands with my sis today.  I had only planned on going to Costco, but as per usual when my sister is involved… sometimes you just have to “follow the force Luke” so we ended up going to several other places along the way.

And I’m glad too because one of the places we went was to the Mississippi Market Co-op near my apartment and now I am enjoying a delicious salmon burger for dinner. 🙂  I also bought some beautiful brightly colored, fresh organic fruits and veggies ~ they were simply too pretty to resist.  Plus, I gotta try and make up for that unhealthy pie I ate last night.  Although, I’m sure that’s not how it works.  😉

Another place we stopped at was the fabric store because my sis needed to pick up a few things.  While we were there I wandered off into the bead area.  I have many lovely pieces of jewelry that I’ve made over the years, but have gotten away from it with all of the other things that have been going on in my life.  It was so nice to walk among the rows of beads and dream about all of the pretty things I could make with them.  And then… I found a really cool medallion that would be perfect for making a necklace to go with my new renaissance costume!  And it was only $3.99!  Score!  I’m so excited to have a new beading project to work on!

I’m really missing my reading, my Internet and my TV right about now ~ wanting so bad to just veg and relax for the rest of the evening.  I’m also terribly missing my Facebook friends too.  😦  The adventures I’m having are fun, but it’s also hard…

Is 6 p.m. too early to go to bed?


Day Four:

After writing a bit and playing with my cats for a while, I really did try to go to bed at around 6 p.m. last night.  It didn’t work out so well.  I slept good for a few hours, but then it was all a nightmare after that.  Literally!  I tossed and turned restlessly throughout the night while having all sorts of bizarre dreams and nightmares.  Also, my night owl of a daughter kept coming into my room multiple times chattering excitedly about a new breed of dog that she wants to get.  Even after she went to bed she was waking me up by texting me about it.  My only solace was having my warm, chubby, purring kitten laying next to me.

Today was very low key.  After spending the last three days being busy and out and about, I didn’t really feel like going anywhere.  But with not being able to spend at least parts of my day relaxing with a book, being on the Internet, or watching TV ~ not gonna lie… I got a little bored.  I know I could have cleaned out a closet or organized something, but I just wanted to relax.

So to try and relax I burnt some of my favorite incense, sat listening to music and petted my cats.  I spent a significant amount of time throughout the day just talking with my daughter and to people on the phone.

I spent most of the evening writing and then I played few board games with my daughter.  That was fun ~ it’s been quite a while since we’ve done that.  ♥


Day Five:

Got together with a good friend of mine today and had a FOUR hour lunch! 😀  We always go so long in between getting together that we have lots to catch up on.  The food was yummy, but it was the company I enjoyed the most ~ so thankful for the good friends I have in my life and especially this friend in particular!  Love you Shmeb!  ♥

Oh my goodness there was a beautiful sunset this evening!  The brilliant shades of purples, pinks, oranges and blues painted a glorious backdrop behind the city’s downtown skyline.  It was the kind that you not only see with your eyes, but also feel with your heart.  I loved watching as it changed colors as dusk settled in ~ which was extra pretty against the white snow.  So different from the sunsets I enjoyed when I lived out in the country, but every bit as breathtaking.  A delicious feast for the eyes…

I fell off the wagon tonight. 😦  The TV captured my attention while I was over at my mom’s.  I tried to resist, but it was like a magnet to my eyes and sucked me in.  I blame my daughter!  The funny part of all of this is that both my daughter and my mom have also felt the repercussions of my being unplugged this week, because ever since my dad passed away last June, one of the routine things the three of us do together is watch TV at my mom’s house.  My Mom records programs on her DVR and my daughter and I go over there a couple times a week and watch them with her.  We did spend a considerable amount of time together doing other things this week, but we’ve all felt the loss of our TV time.  My daughter had had enough TV deprivation and rebelled and turned it on while we were over there doing some laundry tonight.  I was trapped and there was no way out ~ “resistance is futile.”

I also emailed someone today, but even though that is using the Internet, it’s not technically the same as being “on” the Internet.  Right?

Oh well.  Either way, I have two days left of this and am resolved to finish strong!  Or die trying…  😉


Day Six:

Went to church for the first time in ages today.  Eventually at some point I will probably write a post to share about some of the reasons for that, but not today.  Anyway… today is the 30th anniversary of the day that I became a Christian and I couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate it than by going to church.  😀

There wasn’t a usual sermon, instead one of the former pastors shared about a few of the church’s missions outreaches.  He wasn’t a very good speaker, nothing about him was particularly interesting or engaging, he definitely was not charismatic in any way and even his voice was monotone and boring sounding.  But I was so moved by what he was saying and I found myself crying several times while he was talking.  I was just so aware of how truly blessed I am.  How fortunate I am simply for just being born in the United States.  Complain all you want about the corruption and injustice.  Complain about our government, our health care system, our educational system, or any other system that you think is messed up, but despite all of it’s faults… you are still extraordinarily fortunate to have the privilege of being born in this country!   But these people ~ these fellow human beings who are born in third world countries… live in such conditions that we cannot possibly imagine.  I know that nothing I have ever had to go through in my life thus far even remotely compares to their suffering.  I think we tend to become somewhat desensitized to the images of the starving children we see on TV and so the reality of the terrible suffering these precious children endure doesn’t have as big of an impact to stir us into action.  It’s when you hear a first hand and personal account of someone’s experience in relief type work that you get more of a glimpse into the gravity of the situation for these people.

I could go on and on from here, but I think I’ll save the rest of my thoughts on this for a separate post.  I know in trying to cover an entire week’s happenings this one is already getting pretty long.    Hang in there with me ~ only one more day left!  😉


Day Seven:

Very long, but fun day today.  🙂  Took off first thing this morning to go shopping with my mom for a few things for my daughter’s 20th birthday that’s coming up this weekend.  Originally we were just going out to order a cake and some balloons, but my mom had a few other ideas up her sleeve.  I should have known!  My mom is the most generous person I know and when it comes to her only granddaughter, her giving knows no bounds.  I can’t reveal what the day entailed because I don’t want to ruin the surprise in case my daughter reads this, but I think my mom’s ideas will help make her birthday feel extra special.  ♥

Kinda sorta fell off the wagon with TV again tonight.  My daughter insists on week after week in subjecting me to the sheer and utter torment of watching The Bachelor.   Try as I might to make myself otherwise occupied… there was no place to escape it in this tiny apartment.  So although I tried not to pay any attention to it ~ I  succumbed.   Oh and guess what happened on this episode?  Women cried.  Shocker!  Annoying…


So what did I learn from my week of reading deprivation and being unplugged?

I don’t really know…

In relation to the course I’m doing, this week was meant to help my creativity.   To sort of shut out all of the other voices in order to hear my own.  To be forced to get in touch with myself by cutting off all of my escape routes.  The creator of this course believes that art is born out of reality, not fantasy.  And it is in getting in touch with our reality that we are truly able to express ourselves artistically.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if any “art” was born from my week of torture…  I mean reality.  😉