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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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Slow-growing roots

We're about to kick off three months of intermittent visitors -- one set, if not two, every few weeks until September -- so a heavier-than-average round of house reorganization is in progress chez Troubadour to make it easier for guests to navigate our de facto B&B, where everyone's on a different waking and eating schedule. The combination dining table and mail sorting station? Strictly for meals now. I have my eye on some hanging baskets that will become the new magazine/catalog/grocery-circular file. Catch-all kitchen cabinets? They're getting cleaned out and repurposed for specific uses. My favorite is the coffee cabinet that holds various types of beans and everybody's preferred sweeteners -- no more hunting for the raw sugar (my mom's choice) in one place vs. the white sugar (D's mom's choice) vs. the Equal (my choice) in another.

It's finding just the right home for the little things. Even though we've been in this house for three years, it only feels like we're really settling into it now that we've had some time to make it our own in these small ways (or bigger ones). I guess we're slower than average.

Speaking of which, I think our irises that we bought four years ago -- the bulbs we started in planters on our apartment balcony when we had no permanent place for them -- have finally decided that they like their new residence in our front flower bed. All four of them, which you might remember we named, have bloomed this spring. It's the first time we've had every plant blossom.

Say hello to ...


Ralph


Tessa (whom you've met before)


Carmen


and Lolita.

In his count last week, D found a total of 80 buds from all of the plants combined. He'd estimated we'd see no more than half that! I'll take it as a sign that settling in slowly is just fine.

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow, sounds lovely to be a guest at your house! Did you know I'm from Seattle, too? And I could help but notice that butterfly at the top of your banner :)

C. Troubadour said...

I'd forgotten! I remember now that after Kitch had you guest post at her place, I read that you were from Seattle in your bio on your blog. Hello from your former Pacific Northwest home :)

I didn't even think about the butterfly on my banner. We caught that photo at a butterfly garden in Victoria, B.C. -- my favorite stop on our weekend there.

Good Enough Woman said...

I love that you name your Irises. You clearly have your priorities in the right place. And I'm so impressed with your organizational planning before the visitors arrive. Brilliant ideas!

But has it REALLY been three years? I was reading your blog before you moved to Seattle, and I just can't believe it's been that long. It seems as if you just moved into that house!

C. Troubadour said...

I know, right?!? It really has been three years since we moved in, GEW. It baffles me every time I think about it.

And yes, you were my first regular reader when I started this blog! I never marked any of my past blogging "anniversaries," but noting how long you've been reading makes me realize just how much time has gone by. Amazing.

BigLittleWolf said...

Lovely post. (And may I come visit?)

... Sometimes settling in slowly is just right.

C. Troubadour said...

Of course you can come visit, BLW. I can't promise the irises will still be in bloom then, but we've got lilies on their way later this summer. And coffee is here year round :)

TKW said...

I think an Iris that pretty deserves the name "Lolita."

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Slow-growing roots

We're about to kick off three months of intermittent visitors -- one set, if not two, every few weeks until September -- so a heavier-than-average round of house reorganization is in progress chez Troubadour to make it easier for guests to navigate our de facto B&B, where everyone's on a different waking and eating schedule. The combination dining table and mail sorting station? Strictly for meals now. I have my eye on some hanging baskets that will become the new magazine/catalog/grocery-circular file. Catch-all kitchen cabinets? They're getting cleaned out and repurposed for specific uses. My favorite is the coffee cabinet that holds various types of beans and everybody's preferred sweeteners -- no more hunting for the raw sugar (my mom's choice) in one place vs. the white sugar (D's mom's choice) vs. the Equal (my choice) in another.

It's finding just the right home for the little things. Even though we've been in this house for three years, it only feels like we're really settling into it now that we've had some time to make it our own in these small ways (or bigger ones). I guess we're slower than average.

Speaking of which, I think our irises that we bought four years ago -- the bulbs we started in planters on our apartment balcony when we had no permanent place for them -- have finally decided that they like their new residence in our front flower bed. All four of them, which you might remember we named, have bloomed this spring. It's the first time we've had every plant blossom.

Say hello to ...


Ralph


Tessa (whom you've met before)


Carmen


and Lolita.

In his count last week, D found a total of 80 buds from all of the plants combined. He'd estimated we'd see no more than half that! I'll take it as a sign that settling in slowly is just fine.

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow, sounds lovely to be a guest at your house! Did you know I'm from Seattle, too? And I could help but notice that butterfly at the top of your banner :)

C. Troubadour said...

I'd forgotten! I remember now that after Kitch had you guest post at her place, I read that you were from Seattle in your bio on your blog. Hello from your former Pacific Northwest home :)

I didn't even think about the butterfly on my banner. We caught that photo at a butterfly garden in Victoria, B.C. -- my favorite stop on our weekend there.

Good Enough Woman said...

I love that you name your Irises. You clearly have your priorities in the right place. And I'm so impressed with your organizational planning before the visitors arrive. Brilliant ideas!

But has it REALLY been three years? I was reading your blog before you moved to Seattle, and I just can't believe it's been that long. It seems as if you just moved into that house!

C. Troubadour said...

I know, right?!? It really has been three years since we moved in, GEW. It baffles me every time I think about it.

And yes, you were my first regular reader when I started this blog! I never marked any of my past blogging "anniversaries," but noting how long you've been reading makes me realize just how much time has gone by. Amazing.

BigLittleWolf said...

Lovely post. (And may I come visit?)

... Sometimes settling in slowly is just right.

C. Troubadour said...

Of course you can come visit, BLW. I can't promise the irises will still be in bloom then, but we've got lilies on their way later this summer. And coffee is here year round :)

TKW said...

I think an Iris that pretty deserves the name "Lolita."