Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Joy and Tourism

As we drove away from the airport, my friend rolled down the windows. "Okay, Laura," she said. "You can wax philosophical about the Wisconsin landscape now."

She knows me pretty well.

Wisconsin in the summertime is a long lost friend. We spend time apart. We lose track of each other's daily lives. We drift.  But we always find our way back to each other every August and nothing feels out of place.

As we drove through the familiar farmland of my home state, my friend and I stopped at an sunflower field at the edge of town I had never known existed. I suddenly felt like a tourist as we walked the foot path and the sunflowers towered above us.

That feeling didn't go away when my parents and I made the long drive back to my hometown. I suddenly wanted to revisit everything as if it were new.



It turns out, you can be a tourist just about anywhere.

So that's what I want to do. I want to blog again, this time as a tourist. I want to appreciate the ordinary and not take it for granted. I want to view things without judgment or critique, the way a good tourist does. This blog was intended to be about finding joy and my favorite entries were usually about the joy I found in things right under my nose. It's been hard lately to find gratitude, but I'm looking for it. With new eyes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I could eat this all day.

Joy comes from a bowl of caprese salad on a day that feels like summer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A note to my three readers...

It shouldn't come as any surprise that when a blog about joy doesn't get updated for two months, friends start to question the writer if she has a case of the blues. Then again, when things get very joyful, blog writing tends to fall to the wayside. I'm happy to say that the latter is the explanation for the quiet around here. Here's to an honest attempt to make more noise!

Starting with this picture of a fluffy puppy.
You're welcome.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Four things

Four things that keep me grinning
1. Texas snow days (1 inch is all ya need...)
2. The Packers in the super bowl
3.  Johnny Cash on the jukebox
4. Potato soup on the stove

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thursday, December 30, 2010

So this is the new year.


In 2011, resolve to...

Take long, deliberate breaths in moments of stress.
Make serious contributions to future crow's feet.
Give more, take less.
Find the joy. Blog about it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Danny & Annie

Can you think of anything more beautiful than this?
I can't.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'll go to the corner.

I live in a small apartment. Given its layout, it is very possible to be standing in the kitchen and the living room at the same time; my couch is so close to the bed that the thought of being "too tired to make it to the bedroom" seems particularly absurd (although has happened more times than I care to mention). Everything about my apartment has a place, and that's partially why I love it. What it lacks in hosting space and decorative furniture, it makes up in efficiency and low utility bills.

My favorite place in the apartment is a small corner in the bedroom dedicated to my love for all things musical. Most weekends include at least a little time sitting in front of the record player - albums I've pillaged  from my parents over the years and ones I've collected from friends and garage sales are piled up in a heap underneath. The album selections range from credible (The Velvet Underground) to ridiculous (The Electric Prunes) and everything in between. Mostly, my record player belts out a steady stream of folksy Paul Simon or James Taylor. The crackling hiss of the album makes John Denver stop sounding like some Colorado-lovin' dweeb and turns him into something of a poet.

Sometimes, I spend time in the corner with Betty, my poor excuse for an acoustic. Those critters on the right? Meet my audience. I much prefer Kermit the Frog and Pokey to humans with refined musical palettes. If I played for a real audience, they would quickly spot my shoddy guitar skills or tendency to play songs primarily in the key of G. I don't need the pressure.

I'm sure they're out there, but I don't know many people who don't get at least some joy from music. For me, it's an infinite source of joy so it's nice to have a spot in my apartment reserved just for that. Maybe one day my living space will surpass 500 square feet and I'll have room to spread out my musical joy - but for now, a corner will do.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The hotel lights were ours.

The famously awesome Austin Motel  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

JC would be proud.

It's Thursday night.
I'm taking a vacation day tomorrow.
Things are getting biblical.
(but not in a dirty way)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

pumpkin mayhem!

Sometimes I cheat and go to Quack's instead.
Recipe progress so far...

pumpkin curry soup
pumpkin pudding
pumpkin bread
pumpkin pie parfait
pumpkin smoothies
pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Next up... pumpkin cookies with salted caramel glaze. Homemade pumpkin spice latte. Pumpkin pie custard. Pumpkin pie gelatin mold collaboration with The Modern Gelatina.

I'll be the first to admit this is starting to get a bit out of hand...