Friday, January 27, 2017
The website is [sort of] moving, that is.
Want to see some posts in 2017? Like real, actual updates with words and punctuation and stuff? I'm trying something new, and I want to make sure you're not left behind. If you have lauralore.com bookmarked, the site automatically redirects so no further action necessary.
That last sentence is totally pointless because if you use the lauralore.com path, you'll never even see this page. So why am I even addressing you still?
If you have lauralore.com/serendipity bookmarked, you're not going to see any new posts after this—totally personal preference I guess. If you DO want to see new stuff, you will need to update your link—it is a work-in-progress design-wise (WordPress seriously hides EVERYTHING), but all posts from 2004 to present are available in the archives over there, too.
Now, without further ado, check it out.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
With the exception of last year, the year I have given the working title of The Living Death, Nick and I have had a longstanding tradition to welcome the unofficial start of summer enthusiastically with a day of biking, a day of hiking, and a day of kayaking (in no particular order). We refer to it as the trifecta, and it's as much a reason to jumpstart our out-of-shape cold weather bodies as it is to embrace the reasons we still live in the midwest despite the long bite of winter.
This year, it doesn't appear that the forecast will allow three dry days to complete the trifecta, but we hit kayaking and hiking with a vengeance while the sun was in session. We both used vacation time on Friday to squeeze in an extra day without rain. We were out on the water just after 9:00 on Friday morning for a smooth, soul-freeing paddle along Mirror Lake.
We had the lake mostly to ourselves until the afternoon matured, and weekend visitors arrived in the Wisconsin Dells area to begin their long weekends. Those hours of solitude were the definition of perfection, but the weight of underused upper body muscles made itself known on the last stretch of our established path as we fought the current rolling toward the dam where we turned around. (We'll save portaging over the dam for a time when the arms don't feel so noodly as we approach.)
When we decided to call it a day, we worked like a well-oiled machine to pack up the boats. It felt good to work in tandem so naturally, like this is who we are—an active couple who likes spending time together...and it is. The seamlessness of our actions was so automatic that I didn't appreciate it until an older couple who parked near the boat launch remarked upon how easy we made it look to transition from paddling to travel-ready.
I felt fine on Saturday. I felt alive. I felt happy. Endorphins are so yummy...I can't believe I forgot the high. Saturday was to be the last pleasant day of the long weekend, so we planned a morning hike at one of my favorite places in Wisconsin: Devil's Lake.
In typical extremist Laura fashion, I picked the hardest trail to begin and agreed that we should take the harder of the two trails on the other side of the lake to get back to the car. According to my Fitbit, the first part of the first trail was the equivalent of climbing the stairs of 45 floors without rest—basically a long, continuous, boulder staircase straight to the top of the cliff. By the time we finished the paths on both sides of the lake, Fitbit had me clocked in at 113 floors.
I was proud to have accomplished such a feat because it had been years since we completed a challenging trail on both sides of the lake. By the second side, my right hip (the wonkier of the two) was definitely protesting movement, but I talked her into sticking it out (mainly because we had no choice if we wanted to get back to the car).
The photo of myself at the top of this post was taken before we left the house that morning...fresh-faced and happy. I used to feel like that every weekend, because every weekend meant a new adventure. I want to become fit enough to recapture that spirit. My mom used to have a plaque at her desk (at work) that read, "If it is to be, it is up to me." It's a statement that has stuck with me through some of my tougher times. I decided to put it in play through this journey; I've even added it to the site header.
Today, it's difficult to interpret the results of my enthusiasm. Difficult because, while I am in increased pain, I can't know why. Today is also rainy, and though it's cliché, my [arthritic] lower body joints become real jerks every time it rains. I'm still navigating physical activity on the D-L, so I will have to pay attention and listen to my body (when I figure out what it's trying to tell me).
I dearly hope I don't have to take two steps back after taking such a thrilling step forward this weekend. For the sake of the trifecta, I would love some dry time tomorrow to take the bikes for a spin, but the forced break might be a kindness to a mind that has decided to push through whatever pain may come. For now, I'll post an old photo to help me remember where I want to be again.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
New site header! I just needed a change, and I'm super obsessed with the quatrefoil lately...true story. Now that I think about it, the carpeting we ordered for the stairs is actually similar to the pattern and color of the header background, so there you have it.
I'm also trying out some serif fonts in the CSS—but historically, I'll have it changed back to sans-serif fonts by this time next week because I just cannot stand the clutter of all those serifs hanging around without a value-added reason. (Good golly: I'm a nerd.)
More house stuff coming soon...
Saturday, December 29, 2012
I received an email awhile ago from a new visitor asking questions about the "about" text. I noticed then how disjointed the wording was. I last rewrote the full text in 2005, merely piecing in updates as needed. I read there what I think of as different "voices" of me—a lot has changed since 2005, you know? I've changed a lot. It was well overdue for a rewrite, but I hate writing profile stuff, so I've been putting it off.
Anyway, it's done now for the next seven years. Someone set up a reminder for me, will you?
Sunday, December 23, 2012
So the new header is a little fanciful and, as Nick told me, out of season, but I needed something to perk me up.
Hang on to your hopes, my friend.
That's an easy thing to say,
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again.
The grass is high,
The fields are ripe,
It's the springtime of my life.
-Simon and Garfunkel (A Hazy Shade of Winter)
Friday, May 18, 2012
So, I've started at least a dozen posts, but I seem to lose my focus before I finish. When I try to wrap them up, I can't get into it again. I suppose this is a sort of manifestation of the unsettled thoughts I've been trying to reason through. I am just going to let them float up in my mental stratosphere for awhile until they're ready to come back down. Let's just see if I can get through a list of blurbs for the time being.
Monday, July 25, 2011
WARNING: Boring site information to follow.
At Nick's suggestion, I added links to my other web homes (in the sidebar under "Find Me"). Apparently I'm horribly outdated because "everyone's doing it"—everyone except me. Since I think sheep are a lot more adorable than salmon, I made the update.
I was going to add a Flickr badge, but I just wasn't fond of all that clutter in the sidebar. Icon libraries were definitely the cleanest way to go. It's really too bad that I don't have a Twitter account because some of the little bird icons are totally cute.
All but one of my sites are fairly common and available in almost every style, but I had to limit my searches to those sets that included Vimeo (which I don't use often, but there are some videos out there). I suppose I could have created my own, but I did not care to expel the effort.
I didn't add anything for Google+ because no one uses it anyway.
Friday, July 8, 2011
I have been home from the hospital for 10 whole days now—all the while looking for things to occupy my time. I've started a handful of posts, but they all get too serious and heavy, so I leave the drafts to think about later when I'm feeling light again. That's been my pattern for quite some time now. There's one out there from March titled Procrastination. I don't remember what it's about, and I always mean to click on it to figure out what I was trying to spit out…but inevitably I put it off for another time.
Self-fulfilling prophecy right there, my friends!
My blog turned seven years old last month. I've been more reluctant to publish in the last few years, but I love that my life has been chronicled from innocent goofiness, to loss, to illness, to aloofness. It's an eloquent sequence that I could not have captured in one place because I needed my voice to change in the process.
Of all the gems of wisdom my mother shared with me, one echoes in my head more than others: everybody has a story. I like thinking about the stories, thinking of myself in those stories, and examining how I would feel if they were my stories. Along the way, I landed in my own.
I started blogging to keep in touch with family. At the time, I had been living 1,200 miles from home. The early stuff is very rough, and I am embarrassed just reading those entries…but they were geared toward a specific audience who wanted to feel like they were part of my day-to-day life. It was an inane, one-sided conversation.
I also remember struggling with what I could write that wouldn't offend anybody ever. The heavy censorship I placed on myself crippled me for awhile. I got over that fear with time. I don't think I'm particularly offensive anyway, but I'm such a little goody two-shoes—seriously, it's sickening.
As I said, eventually I got over the fear of stating that I think low carb diets are ridiculous and that I didn't particularly care for meat. Sorry if you were offended. (Go ahead, roll your eyes.) I had just been through a major transformation while living so far away from my family, and diet and clean living was/is something of a major fascination for me. I lived and breathed macronutrients and micronutrients. I ate that stuff up—pun most certainly intended. I had a lot of silly opinions that were very important at the time.
The first year of blogging was a very manual process. The site was a simple, hard-coded, static page. At the end of every month, I would save the index file with a unique file name, then save the blank copy of the index file so I could start writing for the next month (that's back when I published something every single month—usually multiple times each month…total Bizzaro World, right?). Then I went in and edited the archive page to add the latest month. Wow, I am exhausted just typing all that out. I had a picture page then, too. I suppose it was my Facebook page before Facebook existed—I like taking pictures, but pictures aren't very important now that I'm living close to home again (so they're gone).
Ooh, but I got a new haircut and low lights yesterday! (Ignore the paleness. See first paragraph: had major surgery less than two weeks ago.)
In 2005, I had enough with all of the hard-coding and the blog was switched over to a software that would store all entries to a database for archival automatically. At the time, I was married to a PHP/MySQL programmer, and the decision to use an open source software was a no-brainer. I even had someone in my pocket to install Serendipity for me!
Blogging is so easy today. I think, when I am old and gray, I will say that one of the greatest developments that I have seen over the span of my lifetime was the explosion of social media. Once upon a time, a person actually had to buy a domain and know HTML at the very least. Now, sites offer blogging profiles as an assumed service free-of-charge. I am excited that so many more people have the opportunity to be heard. Guys, that's pretty damn cool.
I don't think I write to be heard…not at the forefront anyway. I write to salve hurts, to take a photograph with words, and to remember all the charming little moments of life that are so easily forgotten when things get rough. By the end of 2005, the tone of my writing changed.
But then, the tone of my life had changed as well. I bled across the keyboard of my laptop for most of 2006.
That's not to say that there were not happy moments (there were many). Quite simply, my life had new dimensions that I needed to explore. I was feeling more than I ever cared to, and I had to clean out my wounds before they would heal properly (they have).
And what's left of the rubble in that procrastination draft? I miss writing. I miss looking for the entertaining parts of my day that I can "embellish" into a feature-length story.
I say that I started this blog for family, but really I started it for my mother because she missed me terribly. For the longest time, she was my only reader. Then she found it humorous enough that she spread the word. I think that's been part of my hang up: who is left to read now that Mom is gone?
I am always surprised when someone comments on a post because I don't know why anyone would hang around here when I have been so inconsistent. I stopped looking at website traffic eons ago…but apparently some of you are still out there. Thank you for caring enough to share my life and stop by for a visit now and then. I think I've got more family out there than I realize.
One of these days, I really will take a look at that Procrastination draft. Maybe tomorrow. More to come…
Sunday, February 6, 2011
A mini face-lift for LauraLore! I think I have caught and updated all of the old styles from the CSS, but time will tell. I decided I wanted to change the design oh, about an hour ago. I guess gone are the days that I would stress about a design and spend days playing with a duplicate (hidden) version of the site before going live. What fun is that anyway? This feels much more in the way of a devil-may-care attitude, and I am thinking it just may sufficiently take care of my spontaneity quota for February!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Yes, I know I've been neglecting you again, dear blog. I've been at this thing for over five years now. I remember hard-coding everything in the first several versions, but then the archives just got too cumbersome to handle manually. In a time when I was more "techie" than I am now (I don't think I will ever forget the hyphen's HTML entity code), and married to a PHP programmer, I found an open source weblog system called Serendipity. The site basically runs itself now—so much so, I can go weeks without even updating! Whoa. Actually, I really do love weblogging, and I hope that one of these days things will settle down enough for me to write for fun again.
I am officially "sterile" now (unofficially, before). I had surgery two weeks ago, and while I was confident that I was making the most unselfish and ethical choice, the day before surgery was very emotional for me. I returned home from work to find a clean home scented with cinnamon, my favorite meal, and a fresh pumpkin pie…these are a few of my favorite things. Nick left work early to put together the surprise for me. The day of surgery, I was given a gown that fills with hot air—heavenly! After I came out of the anesthesia, I had a bag of ice in a place that wasn't all that heavenly.
I am having difficulties finding time to run with my current class. I ran the first time post-op last week and it went relatively well (though I was in no mood to push it with speed). With daylight savings time, I'm rather ready for bed by the time I get home from work, too! It's dark enough!
Tuesday after work, we stopped at Great Dane for one last happy hour with one of my favorite beers: pumpkin spice ale. The tap was not working properly, spitting and sputtering and making a downright mess of our pint glasses. So, the bartender poured a pitcher to let the head settle and charged us for pints—sweet. See all these plans that interfere with my running schedule!?
Sophie got her bum shaved today. I love long-haired cats. They are so beautiful, but oh so much work! She got two lion cuts last summer, and it was the first summer that she didn't spend panting as she crossed the room. We'll let her keep her hair for the colder months, but something has to be done about that butt.
Poor thing wet herself in her carrier during the ride to the groomer's. I lifted her out of the carrier (the groomer wanted no part of it, understandably) and walked her to her "suite". I couldn't stand the smell of myself in the car (again, understandably), and Nick took off his sweatshirt so that I could strip off the soiled clothing without riding in the car naked. Besides issues with decency, it's frickin' cold!
Well, I guess I have put off writing my essay on Wal-Mart's initiatives as outlined in their 2009 financial statement long enough. I'm a hobbyist writer and find distance education too writing intensive. How do normal people survive? If only essays could be on things that interest me (like the evolution of foods on a stick, for instance), and I could use the word "it" without caring about number agreement—and run-on sentences should be allowable expressions of a thought that just does not want to die. Really, proper grammar is overdone. Now someone who is a little hyphen-heavy (and even knows the HTML entity code!), now that someone is interesting—someone I'd like to know!
Over and out.
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