"Life is better in a book haze." - a good old friend

  • Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
  • Rising Strong by Brene Brown
  • White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  • America's Women by Gail Collins (re-read)
  • Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
  • The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliott
  • Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
  • A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham H. Maslow
  • A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
  • I Love Dick by Chris Krauss
  • Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel
  • Heroines by Kate Zambreno
  • The Best of the Best American Poetry anthology
  • The Best American Essays 2013
  • Touched With Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison
  • It Chooses You by Miranda July (re-read)

Some still, some dancing

My photographer friend, Jessica Colyer, and I got together a week ago and shot each other (with our cameras lol). Here are a handful of photos she took of me in my favorite dress - I especially love the ones where I am dancing and the fabric is flying around. She's very talented and I am so grateful to have her in my life. There will be more photos from this shoot posted later (some of her that I took, too!) but I there are over 400 RAW files on my laptop right now from it, so I am having patience with myself as I work through them because this was just a "for fun" shoot with a photographer friend, not a client shoot, so there's no rush to get the images edited and to the client right away. I edited them but she took them.

Kait makes a dust storm

My balcony garden has been getting murdered by bugs etc since we got into the season in Birmingham where it rains for at least a while almost everyday. I went out and bought some bug dust yesterday to try to protect my little green things. I may have overdone it slightly with the powder, but the plants seem fine - now we just wait to see if it works.

My mammoth sunflower seedlings (second attempt) also got eaten by the bugs and I could tell they weren't going to survive so I pulled them and planted another packet of seeds (third attempt) because I am stubborn.

I just want to share something really sweet that happened to me the other day. I shared some of the photos on Facebook that I'd also shared of Ghost (my beta fish) on this blog... and I got a message from someone I don't even really know who saw the photos and wanted to let me know that Ghost's stomach looked a little sick (dark and sticking out more than normal) in the photos - she said he would probably feel better if I fed him a bit less and that one of her beta fish had died from the condition because she didn't know about it and overfed him. I've started feeding Ghost less and he already looks healthier and has more energy. Isn't that just something really cool that can happen with social media? This amazingly sweet stranger cared about my beta fish, knew I didn't know much about beta fish and wanted to make sure nothing bad happened to Ghost because she could tell he meant a lot to me. Isn't that just really cool? I thought it was. Anyway: THANKS, JESSIE. :)

My Kudzu Jungle

The landlord comes and cuts down my beautiful kudzu jungle on the hillside next to our apartment every so often - but it always comes back because it is kudzu. I am in love with it. I used to feel devastated when they'd cut it down and the hillside would just be bare & dead but I've learned that it ALWAYS comes back for me. Here are a few photos I took of it the other day when I heard their mowers coming.

Put away the laundry: collect all of the empty hangers, be sure to feel a bit of resentment and a bit of pleasure while you do it, because it gives you a purpose. Be sure to feel resentful of the pleasure, because your life has amounted to this - because you thought you'd be more independent than this. Remember that the long pants get hung up but the shorts go on the top shelf, the one you can barely reach. Throw them up there but try to make it look tidy. Be aware that many people wish their lives would be this. Be angry with yourself. Make sure you are aware of how angry everyone else is with you, too. Not just for your ingratitude but for all of the other things. Try to become a little bit paranoid, just enough that you slightly overestimate how much they think of you at all.

#embracethesquish

I've gotten into the body positivity community (mainly on Instagram). I'm doing a digital "body positive boot camp" for the month of July, so I'm almost halfway done with it, and today was #embracethesquish day. We were supposed to take pictures of our body's rolls and squishes, because almost all bodies have some, even thinner bodies. I have made a lot of progress with my relationship with my body in the past few months. I feel much more comfortable in front of the camera than I used to, even when I'm the one taking the photograph of myself, and I think it shows.