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I'm watching a new house being built. Because of where it is, tucked high away on a hillside, I can only see it as I drive in to work. The second-story frame and skeletal roofline appeared a week ago. Now there is plywood sheeting on some of the outer walls. It is a different unfolding of spring that I can watch this year, more than just the greening of the landscape and blossoming flowers. The progress on the house appears slower than the advance of Mother Nature, but that is mostly due to my partial view of the site.
Time for extreme measures. I'm broken, or more accurately, my back is, and my sciatic nerve is screaming again. My 7 year old laptop is dying: there's been no sound for months and now the service battery notice has appeared again. Gack. With all the unplanned expenses in the last month, buying a new laptop is not an option right now. An hour or two of research, and I've implemented Plan B: Yoga and pilates apps are now installed on my ipad, and I've ordered a keyboard for my ipad. Now, if I could just finish knitting this damn sleeve.
There were certain yoga poses that were too hard on my knees for me to do even when I was 20. Funny enough, those poses are still too hard on my knees for me to do. And my arms haven't grown 4" in the last few decades, so there are other poses that are still physically impossible for me to do. That said... with just 15 minutes of yoga today, I've significantly unkinked my back and my sciatica has subsided. This gives me real hope that with a small investment in the next few weeks, I can heal my back.
The idea of getting in the car and driving at a leisurely pace across several states holds great appeal. I would love to spend several weeks in early summer becoming acquainted with various parts of the Eastern seaboard. Or to do as my parents are, and head west, to see the National Tall Grass Prairie. Perhaps even, someday, to do our own Blue Highway trek across this nation. Or set out by train, west across the southern Amtrak route to LA, then up the Pacific coast, and return east via the Plains states. With a few layovers in key cities.
No snow, but very cold this morning. All the daffodils and tulips were laying face down on the ground, no longer standing tall and proud, felled by the 25 degree (Fahrenheit) temperature. I can only hope that when the sun rises a bit higher and warms the ground that they will recover and pull themselves up and continue to bring joy. If not, if their withered bodies still litter the yard when I return home tonight, I shall mourn them. So many of the tulips have already been chopped off my some indiscriminate woodland creature that I want to cry.
100Words is not my knitting blog... but I feel like I've been working on this cardigan forever. I've ripped back this sleeve alone three times. I'm beginning to feel the yarn is cursed. There was the 'stained' ball (or two) that were not as white. This ball seems to be knitting up a in a different gauge - a looser gauge that looks horrible, very uneven. But I am so close to having a key summer wardrobe piece that I must find a way to finish this in a way that makes me happy. And soon. I've more yarn to knit.
It seems to have been grey forever. After such an early start, spring has slowed down and is now behind schedule, The morning drive to the office is a slog: no sunshine and no flowers. Yet. We're stuck in that awkward period where early daffodils are fading, forsythia is out in full bloom, but many of the flowering trees are already past prime due to their early bloom.Tulips have mostly stalled due to the on-again, off-again rising temperatures. Then tonight, when nearly home, the clouds parted in the western sky just in time for the gloaming. Beautiful.
I was struck by the unexpected realization -- that should not have been any surprise. No one is encouraged to understand anything about the domain they are working in. It is like being a makeup artist, and you decide to become a zombie film makeup artist. But you never see a zombie film, you never read up any of the online zombie film/fan forums, magazines or do anything to learn]about the history zombies in pop-culture, you just apply makeup. You expect the director, to tell you exactly what to do, because you have no understanding of the domain.
I know I wrote an entry for this day. I remember doing it. But sometime, a few days later, I realized there was a blue day - no words! I don't know if I didn't hit save after preview or what, but this is exactly the "what if" scenario I worried about when I chose to write directly into the site. I have no backup on my laptop. I have to wing it. Because, as it is more than a week later by the time I try to backfill the day, I have no idea what I was doing that Saturday.
Thimbleberries! I found thimbleberries for sale! Not the berries, the actual plants. So of course, I ordered three. I don't even really remember the taste of them --I think we only picked them during our summer vacations in Copper Harbor-- but I do remember the joy of having a full bucket, because that would mean grandma would make jam, maybe even a pie. I think she made thimbleberry pie, once. I may need to check with my parents when they return from their road trip. I hope the reality of them as an adult is as good as childhood memory.
I can't write another post here this soon that is just venting my spleen. Although I've got quite a lot of it to vent. I don't know if it is built up excess that needs to be released, or because I've no reserves left to run on I can't control it - but there is a good bit of anger in me right now, for reasons I'm not quite clear on. As a result, I've no patience with what I refer to as stupidity, which covers a wide spectrum. The truth is anger is a contagion with a long half life.
Garrison Keillor, of all people, got me thinking about this interesting concept: that there is a centrifugal force that pushes us away from each other, leading some to become hermits. I posit a corollary: a centripetal force that brings us closer together. For many people, the forces are essentially balanced, with occasional shifts, and many people live with one force significantly stronger, either independent or social creatures. For me, the centrifugal force is strongest, I tend be apart from others. Like now, when I cannot understand my fellow citizens - my tolerance for them is very low. Running away sounds good.
Kitties got a clean bill of health from the vet after their oral surgeries. We are OK to feed kibble again and will start to wean them off wet food, which will be a severe disappointment to Manxy. Miss Leo immediately attacked the kibble I then put down this morning. I think she must have eaten her 1/3 cup today, because for the first time since the surgery, she didn't try to steal food from my dinner plate. Nor did she try to occupy my lap - maybe she's not forgiven me for taking them back to the vet again?
Maybe the house I am watching being built isn't really a house, but an apartment building? It is very, very big, now that the side sheathing is up, with windows in place and a roof on it. I know the trend in this neighborhood is to build very large houses, but this one really seems out of scale now. But the windows...the placement is too irregular to be an apartment building. And it seems unlikely to be an office building. The exterior is complete except for the siding - I wonder what color it will be? Probably a boring neutral.
My parents are currently driving around the plains states, making their way to New Mexico for the first time in about six years. I'm learning names of places I'd like to see for myself, like the National Tall Grass Prairie and Cheyenne Bottoms (a wetland in Kansas! who knew?!) I dream of taking the train across country - leaving the driving to someone else, so there's time to look out the window. Take the southern route there, go up the west coast, take the northern route back. There is a middle route as well. And the Pullman, Chicago to New Orleans!
At this point, I am cautiously optimistic about my seedlings. The eggplant and orange peppers have finally taken off. Both types of tomatoes are looking good, and the broccoli and cauliflower are quite strong. The lima bean actually sprouted despite instructions, as did the pea. I'm hoping that the strawberries from Chatsworth survive - they are so tiny, but they did sprout! I'm eager to get everything in the new beds, but it is still too cold out, especially the overnight temperatures. I hope to be able to harden off most of my seedlings when I get back from San Antonio.
I may have dreamed (literally and figuratively) of living in Vienna, but I don't think I've ever dreamed of being an opera singer before. But there I was, in Vienna in a winter that turned oh-so-rapidly into spring, singing something onstage in rehearsal. While somehow also being a cyber geek, talking with other big geeks. You know, in that it-all-makes-sense-it's-a-dream kind of way? At least I liked the way my voice sounded in the dream. Nothing really made sense, but it was a beautiful sequence that left me feeling warm and bright.
Spring is finally inching forward this year. Trees are beginning to have a green tinge at the edge, or blossoms in full bloom for magnolias, cherry and the like. Tulips are adding flourishes of color beyond the yellow of forsythia and daffodils. My primrose are blooming again, and the peonies are starting to peek up through the mulch. I want to buy and plant ALL. THE. THINGS. for the front yard and garden. It is still too soon for most of it, but when the sprinklers come on, I can start planting the garden beds. Soon. But not soon enough.
Looking at gardening catalogues is quite dangerous. I want to buy all. the. things. I have ordered weedblocking paper that will self-compost by end of the season and landscape stakes to secure it. I'm lusting after a cold frame. We probably will need netting for the berry plants, and some supports for the peas & beans (tho didn't I get varieties that don't need staking?) and the hoops & net for insect / temperature protection... And I'm already off and running! Growing up, our backyard garden did fine without any of this stuff. Should I ask dad if I was just oblivious?
Writing one hundred words is easy. That's about the average length of an email from a friend, more's the pity. It seems impossible that the updates of someone's life in another place can be distilled into ten tens of words. Cutting that number of words from a document, an abstract, is very difficult. If you're used to writing something of meaning or interest in a pithy 100 words, you just start rewriting, sentence by sentence, as if you were writing in this space. Still, it is much easier to rewrite if you didn't write the words in the first place.
I finally cast on the baby camel yarn I bought four years ago: the long-promised husband sweater has begun. I am a selfish knitter, true - but I'm also enough of a perfectionist that I don't want to knit anything less than a perfect finished object if is intended for someone else. I've been having such gauge issues the last few years, I didn't want to knit for anyone else. But after four years, it is time. My plan is to get the sleeves done by end of month (?) then work on the back over the summer, on cooler evenings.
If I could just be here, do the thing I am here for, it would be fine. But there is all this other stuff "on my plate" now. It is like going out for dinner, ordering the entree you really want, to discover your host has also ordered an entree, side and desert for you. There is too much, and with the whole city of San Antonio partying outside my hotel, there are too many distractions. After a full day of planned activity, I still have to do my other day job after hours. I am so tired right now.
San Antonio is so very flat. Looking out the window from my room on the 33rd floor, I can see every multi-story structure for miles. Including the ferris wheel at the Fiesta Carnival that is across the highway. The night parade -- Fiesta Flambeau -- is of course televised, so although I have no window onto it this year, I can still see the spectacle of all the bands and floats lit up. It might be nice to really experience Fiesta, rather than just skirting around it. To both get here earlier, and not have all my time filled by work.
Someday I'd like to have a business trip where I'm not working 18 hours a day. I don't know quite what I'd do (sleep 8 hours a night) or how I'd entertain myself (knit for an hour before going to bed for 8 hours) but I'd be willing to give it a try. It would make an interesting change from the usual. I'd love it if I didn't have to be at the event by 8:00 AM, or checked out of the hotel by then. And is it too much to ask to actually see something of the city?
The backyard orchard continues to expand. We already planted the white peach and apricot trees, with several raspberry and blackberry canes. Last week, I ordered the thimbleberries and gooseberries from Washington state, they should arrive by the end of this week. I'm having problems getting my hands on a sour cherry tree, and it turns out, I should have ordered the black and red currents from Washington as well...maybe even the sour cherry tree too, but all of that will eventually arrive. And this morning, himself announced he wants the beach plum trees we saw at our local nursery.
Damn, damn, damn! I was doing so well at keeping up. And then middle of the month, everything fell apart. The business trip on a weekend didn't help, there was no time for myself when I could think and write on the laptop. I still view this as my private meditation space, I can't write it when others are around. And I don't like writing my words at work. That seems to be wrong... and I have a hard time emptying my mind at that desk. Maybe tomorrow evening I can spend some time catching up on writing my words.
I am not a gambler. I'm fairly risk averse, but I'm playing roulette with my laptop now. I would need a rainy day, with plenty of DVDs to watch while I monitor the download and install the current OS. Never mind that, I'm afraid to upgrade the OS even if Apple says it will work, and there's a long list of problems with its current state. Unfortunately, with the battery dying, the OS upgrade won't fix everything. I figure it will be September by the time I have the cash in hand to buy it. It seems an unlikely bet.
I should be excited about Knit camp. I am not, not really. I've paid my money and I will go, and almost certainly will learn stuff and have a good time. But it's not Maine. Or Rhineback. It's Wisconsin. I want to go to Maine. But there will not be funds or time to do both Knit Camp and the Maine retreat. I was considering my alternatives: there's no Knitters Retreat upstate this year, so I guess the only thing is to do the Rhinebeck bus trip. It's inexpensive and doesn't require time off work, just a one day getaway.
I couldn't stand it any longer. The visible portions of house being built no longer made sense to me, the edges obscured by the green fuzz of new leaves on trees. The navigation system in my car gave me a road map to get close to where it must be based on my line of sight driving in to work. And there it was.. what I thought was one massive house is actually three separate houses. One with soft green siding, one with soft grey-brown siding, and the one that backs onto my view still has white Tyvek wrap.
The spring garden is nearly at full tilt - tulips, daffodils, muscari, violas, primrose are in blossom. The bearded iris have buds. The white and yellow lilacs are nearly blossoming; the purple have buds getting fatter every day. My new peonies are sending shoots up all over. The tree wisteria has green growth. Today, as I planted laminaria, pulmonaria and sweet woodruff on the shady north side of the house, a neighborhood jogger called out to us that the flowers looked great, good work! Wow. Ours is the only yard with flowers, and the neighbors are clearly appreciative of our efforts.
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