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When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

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Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Monday, November 9, 2009

When all else fails, try the bathroom

I mean it; it works. See?


We received this Tiffany rose as a housewarming gift from a very dear set of friends, and we'd had it on an end table in the living room where it could get light from the long row of windows there. But it refused to thrive -- by its second week at our place, it was dropping leaves faster than I've been losing my hair (and THAT, if you know me, is kind of alarming). No worries, I'm not going bald, just adjusting to some recent prescription changes. But we were definitely a bit panicked about the fate of our little plant (which did not help with the hair loss).

So I did what my mother has done for years: I put the rose in our bathroom.

There's something about the extra warmth and moisture from our daily showers that seems to help. My mother has reared orchids and other notoriously finicky flowers with great success in her bathroom. Now I see why. Check out those new leaves!

Hopefully our plant will make it through the winter without further trouble and we'll be able to get it established outdoors at the beginning of the growing season next year. For now, I'm enjoying this little bit of life by the edge of the tub.

8 comments:

hgg said...

Great idea; I've learned something new today.

Sherlock said...

Gorgeous! And the bathroom is great place! I put plants in there in the winter. I put a plant stand with multiple shelves in the tub because I can't use the tub (I use the shower in the other bathroom!). The tub gets great sunlight on that side of the house.

French Fancy said...

I get very attached to all things acquired in the early stages of something - a relationship, a move - that sort of thing. Your little rose will thrive no doubt - as your life in your new home will bloom and grow.

Hark at me going all 'deep' today

Contemporary Troubadour said...

hgg -- my next challenge will be figuring out how to water this plant while we're away for the winter holidays. Somehow I'm guessing this won't be quite as simple as a room change.

Sherlock -- we don't use the tub either, nor does Troubadour Mom. It's a great holding area for pots! We might consider putting a tray of seedlings in there in the spring to get them started for the garden.

FF -- me too. That's why I was so determined to keep this plant from dying! Deep sentiments indeed, I can see the creative writing working there :)

Good Enough Woman said...

I have also had plant success in the bathroom. But I'm sort of surprised that the Pacific Northwest living room was not sufficient! Must be the heat in the bathroom . . .

Glad it's perking up!

French Fancy said...

I love the four cartoons of you all. A very sophisticated looking group :)

TKW said...

I kill all living plant matter--I may just try this!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW -- I was surprised too! I guess cold and damp is not the same as warm and damp to roses. From what I've seen online (I rely almost completely on the internet for gardening instruction), they're particularly picky about their surroundings.

FF -- they were fun to make :). Excellent procrastinatory project. And it lets me put "faces" of the people closest to me on the blog so I'm not always looking at the backs of their heads in photos!

TKW -- welcome! Thanks for stopping by. And yes, I kill plants too. I involuntarily drowned a tulip last spring and am still afraid to water this rose now, even though it's an insatiable little drinker.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

When all else fails, try the bathroom

I mean it; it works. See?


We received this Tiffany rose as a housewarming gift from a very dear set of friends, and we'd had it on an end table in the living room where it could get light from the long row of windows there. But it refused to thrive -- by its second week at our place, it was dropping leaves faster than I've been losing my hair (and THAT, if you know me, is kind of alarming). No worries, I'm not going bald, just adjusting to some recent prescription changes. But we were definitely a bit panicked about the fate of our little plant (which did not help with the hair loss).

So I did what my mother has done for years: I put the rose in our bathroom.

There's something about the extra warmth and moisture from our daily showers that seems to help. My mother has reared orchids and other notoriously finicky flowers with great success in her bathroom. Now I see why. Check out those new leaves!

Hopefully our plant will make it through the winter without further trouble and we'll be able to get it established outdoors at the beginning of the growing season next year. For now, I'm enjoying this little bit of life by the edge of the tub.

8 comments:

hgg said...

Great idea; I've learned something new today.

Sherlock said...

Gorgeous! And the bathroom is great place! I put plants in there in the winter. I put a plant stand with multiple shelves in the tub because I can't use the tub (I use the shower in the other bathroom!). The tub gets great sunlight on that side of the house.

French Fancy said...

I get very attached to all things acquired in the early stages of something - a relationship, a move - that sort of thing. Your little rose will thrive no doubt - as your life in your new home will bloom and grow.

Hark at me going all 'deep' today

Contemporary Troubadour said...

hgg -- my next challenge will be figuring out how to water this plant while we're away for the winter holidays. Somehow I'm guessing this won't be quite as simple as a room change.

Sherlock -- we don't use the tub either, nor does Troubadour Mom. It's a great holding area for pots! We might consider putting a tray of seedlings in there in the spring to get them started for the garden.

FF -- me too. That's why I was so determined to keep this plant from dying! Deep sentiments indeed, I can see the creative writing working there :)

Good Enough Woman said...

I have also had plant success in the bathroom. But I'm sort of surprised that the Pacific Northwest living room was not sufficient! Must be the heat in the bathroom . . .

Glad it's perking up!

French Fancy said...

I love the four cartoons of you all. A very sophisticated looking group :)

TKW said...

I kill all living plant matter--I may just try this!

Contemporary Troubadour said...

GEW -- I was surprised too! I guess cold and damp is not the same as warm and damp to roses. From what I've seen online (I rely almost completely on the internet for gardening instruction), they're particularly picky about their surroundings.

FF -- they were fun to make :). Excellent procrastinatory project. And it lets me put "faces" of the people closest to me on the blog so I'm not always looking at the backs of their heads in photos!

TKW -- welcome! Thanks for stopping by. And yes, I kill plants too. I involuntarily drowned a tulip last spring and am still afraid to water this rose now, even though it's an insatiable little drinker.