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With the acknowledgement that I may be going back to work tomorrow, but I am not going to be up for doing anything of significance on the long holiday weekend, the parental pilgrimage is postponed. I am still coughing and taking meds, and G appears to be fighting something off, so deferring plans by a full week is the wise thing to do, even if it complicates everyone's schedule. I don't know how bad the week ahead is going to be, but my load got a little lighter knowing I don't need to clear out the knitty room closet tomorrow.
It was like hitting a brick wall. By early afternoon, I felt battered, and left the office. Of course, half an hour after getting to work and reading the emails that had accumulated, I was as wound up as ever. I am tired of dealing with newbies and the eternal explaining and re-explaining to everyone what we're doing and why. No one seems to remember a damn thing from week to week, let alone over the course of a month or two or longer. I sometimes feel like I'm the only one who gives a damn about this work.
I am struggling to make it through the work day. I am also struggling with the words. Five years ago I almost made it through the month, but didn't quite get there. There was just too much going on I've powered through posting things for September, and watching the current month slide by without getting anything captured or posted, which is a really bad sign. I may need to look at speech to text just so I can capture those morning commute thoughts and be able to finish them out so that this space is more than a daily diary.
Standing backstage during the symphony's performance of Respighi's Pines of Rome, I experienced a moment of perfection. I had never heard the work before, so there was a joyous discovery, and it was amplified - literally and figuratively - by where I was standing: behind the french horns. As they began to pour it on and the drums began pounding a steady and stately beat, it was as if you could see the Appian Way shimmer out beyond the stage. To this day, I can conjure that memory and be instantly transported back and actually feel the music waves wash over me.
I don't believe I've ever given this much thought to buying a cell phone. It is because I am so enraged by my current phone, a hurried purchase after losing my beloved Droid in an airport (the only electronic device I've ever lost), I don't want to make another wrong choice. I am not a fan of the wireless cellphone headsets for business telecons and I know I have a few more years of those. That becomes a limiting factor for choices that are now on the market. What I really want doesn't exist, so I'm left with second choice.
Watching the conversations move and shift is like the intersections of orbiting planets and stars. There are certain groupings that are constant, or repeating, and other pairings that change based on the topic of conversation. There are the loud talkers and the ones that whisper. Some knit from the moment they sit until they get up to leave, while others put away their knitting after a row or two. Not everyone likes each other, and some seem to be unaware of this fact - we do try to get along. I seem to be able to mediate between the various factions.
The sunshine is so welcome after so much recent rain. It is a bit soup like outside, it is so humid.Knit night last night was great, but perhaps too much. There's a small list of things I must do, and a longer list of want-to-dos and oughts, but only the first one is going to get done. I wanted to make the sparkling cranberry gems cookies today, but never quite made it that far. Tomorrow, for certain! I have already cast on a shawl with the lovely BFL/Masham blend yarn Joan gifted me last night - yum.
Acknowledging that nothing, absolutely nothing, about your job is going to change, no matter what you do or what management says is hard. My simply not doing certain things anymore --because technically, it's not my job anymore-- doesn't really work, because making sure that the project gets done is still my responsibility. But once again, I have all of the responsibility without sufficient authority to make necessary changes. I don't know quite what to do or where to go, but leaving does seem to be the only option. And I need a few more years with some kind of income.
It was like night and day. Yes, there was no comfortable seating (and what the fuck is with that? You won't make your customers comfortable while you try to convince them to spend tens of thousands of dollars??!) but... she had listened to what we wanted. The drawings were quite detailed, so easy to see what was being proposed. As we talked through certain questions and concerns, she was clearly still paying attention, even if sometime not sure about our sense of humor. I can only hope that the price is good enough that it will counteract the longer schedule.
Another day where I had one of those moments, a great topic, a thread, an idea for exploration here. Of course it was early in the day - I think it was on the drive in to work. And then I get to the office and WHAMMO! I was derailed by the bad aftermath of IT upgrades, and meetings, and doctors, then trying to figure dinner and chores and prep... and the idea is gone. If I can work backwards through the moments of the day, I may be able to come up with it, but it is most likely gone.
I am still puzzling over yesterday's question, the five movies that would explain my character to someone. I cannot figure out how that might be different than the movies that seem to resonate most with me and delight the inner person. I suspect I am missing some of the basic instructions that the idea originally started with. It doesn't take long to identify the first three: Brazil. Holiday (1939). Koyaanisqatsi. The fourth comes slowly, and is much less obvious: Nobody's Fool. The fifth is taking me a long while, and many options have been discarded. And I still don't know.
The weather is the same today as it was five years ago. Decidedly grey and a bit cool, it was leaning towards rain in the morning, but eventually cleared up with a bit of sunshine in the afternoon. The day passes with little fanfare and observation other than opening a bottle of prosecco for dinner. I am a little disappointed that we made no real observation of the day, but with our houseguests -even though they're family- it just doesn't seem right. Maybe we'll go out for dinner, just the two of us some night in the very near future.
Mom came with me to knit night, a brief respite from the slog that the cedar closet has become. I don't know if she had fun, exactly, but it was something different, a girl's night out. Which I think we both needed after the day that was today. Most of the core group was there, so there was maximum exposure (deliberate word choice). There was a variety of knitting projects, from Jenn's lace, to Ellen's colorwork mittens, which fascinated mom. She did make some progress on a coaster / potholder, but learned the lesson of mindless knitting for knit nite gatherings.
Home movies from mom's family from the early 1950's were a fascinating glimpse into a time and people long gone. The forty plus young cousins of mom's generation assembled at picnic tables in summer. Memorial day parades with floats, baton corps, and horses, well attended by adults in suits and dresses. Canadian cousins. Brown bottle beer. Halloween parties with the adults in costumes, all scrounged from what was on hand. Mom and her older, half-sister in an endless array of matching outfits, which she detested. My grandfather and ten of his siblings (and their wives) painting his mother's house.
Today I had an opportunity for a much deeper view into the problem and I was a little shaken by it. This isn't good. But there's nothing I can do here and now about it. I do need to visit them in the next six months, see what happens on home turf. Travel is hard, and packing and tracking tools is a pain in the ass for everyone. I can only hope that help will be accepted when offered, and that a serious evaluation happens soon. You can't fix a problem if you don't know what the real problem is.
Whatever I think is the problem generally turns out merely to be a symptom of real problem that she discovers as she works me over. I am so glad to have found Linda, she really does listen to what her hands discover. Until I can get some longer term plan for relief from physical therapy or I'm able to do enough yoga or pilates, my plan is to get a massage every two weeks. By unknotting everything it provides me with a day of pain-free existence. Those days help me figure out what environmental changes I need to make.
Coming into the driveway, the totem pole with Horus on top now stands guard. With the Egyptian-esque carvings, it feels more like an obelisk. My grandfather carved several totem poles later in life, when he had time on his hands, and the wood and tools to make them a reality. Dad has one at The Woods that has been there for decades. And there's a third one undergoing restoration. Each one tells a story, to be sure, but the story was really only known to Grandpa. With the totem, a little piece of him is always with me now.
When did I first learn that Aunt Vonnie was not really my Aunt by blood? I have no memory of that, but I remember being fascinated by the story that Grandma "adopted" her (I suspect it wasn't a legal adoption) before she married grandpa. I was a bit shocked to learn this past weekend that Vonnie wasn't orphaned, that she had siblings and family in Iowa. It was a matter of economics during the Great Depression, a family too poor to feed and clothe their children. Vonnie certainly had material advantages with Grandma, but I wonder about the emotional costs.
My parents are finally home after four days on the road. That's twice as long as it took them three years ago. Four days of having the back window obscured by G's massive Telefunken radio they took with them, in the hopes that Dad will be able to resurrect it. I am worried about next year - will they be able to manage the drive out here and back? I had already decided I must find the time to get there next year, but this makes it more urgent. I am glad that the Telefunken VW toy car made dad laugh.
Planning at work is already gobbling up dates from March to August of next year. I hate this. I want my schedule to belong to me, not to work. If I decide to go to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, I want to go. Without needing to consult the calendar and realize that I cannot go have fun and enjoyment on my personal time because of work obligations. Or, as is more often the case (i.e., today!?!?) abandoning fun stuff because I am beyond tired or backed up on getting real life stuff done because of those damn work obligations.
Working out in the garden today was very satisfying. It has been, what - a month since I last spent any real time digging in dirt? Probably longer, in all reality. I've hardly been in the garden the last few months. And I've got bulbs to plant! Many bulbs! Not the hundreds I've planted in years past, but more than I thought I had. The sensitive and woodland bulbs are planted, but there's still more planting for next weekend. Of course, there's some weeding to do, especially the wild bits encroaching on the driveway woodland. And de-netting the raspberry canes.
Last year, I tried to get into the holiday swing, spirit, cheer, whatever - by anonymous, not-so-random act of kindness to someone who had expressed a wish. I fulfilled it. It took some doing to accomplish but it wasn't that expensive. I was happy I'd done it, until I discovered the wish was being deliberately undone - the gift being returned, as it were. There was no way for me to find out why, without revealing that I was the elf that made it happen. The recipient never indicated why, never actually stated they were undoing it. But I knew.
The failure of last year's holiday cheer RAK has stayed with me. My favorite forum is organizing a holiday card swap. I am so tempted by this - people are actively indicating THEY WANT CARDS! I don't care so much about getting the cards, I want to GIVE the cards. I debated joining for a full day after discovering the card swap: revealing my real world details is not something I am comfortable doing. But I did it - with the idea of buying a variety of cards I love. Perhaps some random gifts to the list might be possible as well?
For years, I've wanted to really document the garden in a daily journal - a gardener's calendar like Thomas Jefferson kept. What did I do, what is in bloom and when, with illustrations and a map. Given our many micro-climates on this property, I think the journal would be very helpful. I sort of use this space to document my garden, but not in any consistent way. I have a hard time doing this on a daily basis, never mind the garden. It is a dream I have, the gardener's calendar, one that I hope to live out in retirement.
Driving home just fifteen minutes later than usual, I was treated to a rare sight tonight. Heading east, I approached a hillside that was golden - it was the gloaming time, when the light turns a golden amber that lingers on everything it touches. It was magical, it is my favorite time of day - when the day proper is over but not yet evening. Today was a double bonus --anything can happen Wednesday!-- because for the next ten minutes, the sky turned pink and I was living in Maxfield Parrish painting. Was it the time of day, or the passing rain?
Evolution is slow. Even with email addresses. I have initiated the next generation... since 1988 this is what, my fourth generation of personal email? I say generation deliberately, because I've always had multiple email personal addresses to segment various aspects of life. I was doing OpSec before I knew what it was. I have been testing for a year now, and although it isn't the perfect solution, nor completely free, it is an acceptable solution. Now the slow, painful process of transitioning everything can begin. I hope to retire the insecure option by the end of the year. Fingers crossed.
Ten years ago, I was working in a job that asked very little of me. I had time on my hands to be VP for a local professional association. My evenings were my own. I rarely ever traveled. I was bored solid at work, but had a life. Things are pretty much the opposite right now: work asks a lot of me, I have essentially no time to do anything else during the day and I travel regularly. And life... it feels more and more like my life is collateral damage. I don't quite know how I can change this.
Working in the garden today feels really good. I find preparing for winter, and for next spring very satisfying. Cleaning up the raspberry beds, pruning back the overgrowth after a successful berry season, I realize how weak I am these days. I should be able to spend a few hours moving through the garden without becoming exhausted. But I spent the summer traveling or impaired by my back/leg issues, and this fall has been a smorgasboard of vacation days, doctors appointments and bronchitis. Next weekend will be bulb planting, and weeding whatever unwanted bits remain in the flower beds.
Whenever I read the King Arthur Flour catalog, I want to bake, bake, bake. Bread. Cookies. Cakes. Scones. Muffins. Biscotti. And in fall, it is all about pumpkin, molasses and gingerbread. I become filled with dreams of holiday baking and give-aways to everyone - and then realize that my circle is really only KnitNite. The office is undeserving. We have no friends or family locally, so these dreams will go unrealized -- again. It doesn't keep me from going online and filling my basket with all the ingredients; in a day or so, when I've calmed down, some will come out.
It was wonderful. Ninety minutes of bliss that left me pain free and relaxed. I've typically viewed this as a once a year treat, but the difference in how I feel with just an extra thirty minutes beyond my regular appointment is quite substantial. I may need to reconsider my plan to use frequent shorter appointments as part of my regime to manage the confluence of sciatica, arthritis and nerve damage in my left leg. Perhaps the longer appointments could actually help reset the nerves in a more significant way? I will need to see how long the relief lasts.
Each Halloween is different. This was a quiet holiday. There were not a lot of trick or treators this evening; it seems that on school nights, 6:30 is the cutoff. Kids these days don't know about Cracker Jack?!? And they don't automatically shout out, "Trick or Treat" on your doorstep? I was a bit shocked when several asked point blank what the treat was, in a fairly judgemental way. Seriously?! WTF?!! If you don't like it, swap with someone at home, or at school the next day! The totem pole rocked, I used a flashlight as a spotlight: spooky!
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