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Day of the dead indeed. The wind blustered all day, making mockery of Winnie the Pooh. After such a calm and beautifully golden fall afternoon for Halloween just yesterday, today seems a true harbinger of Winter in all its stark greyness. Leaves flew away from branches at such a rate I was convinced there’d be no leaves left by the end of the day. Work of course sucked me in, pulling me under, making me eventually oblivious to the howling outside. I made plans for Mexican hot chocolate yesterday, but I forgot all about it until late in the evening.
No, no, no, no, no! I wake up particularly tired and woozy today. Suddenly realize on Monday morning I have a very early pickup for the airport, for the conference we almost missed (thank you, incompetent co-irker who quit just in the nick of time). Not gonna be sick! Taking all preventatives I can think of. Resting. Tired. Woozy. Nope, not gonna be sick! Power of positive thinking: get well, feel better, heal. Drink cranberry juice like its going out of style. No chicken soup in the house, and himself is not yet well, so I’m outta luck.
An overdue promise to make scones was finally redeemed today – doubly so by finding a true British recipe (that also explained how and why they are different from our American scones) that turned out quite well, and in time to enjoy with clotted cream and tea while watching a travelogue through modern (2015) Scotland – that featured an Airstream trailer! We both squealed when the couple visited somewhere where we’d been, just a few months later in real calendar time and the sight brought back the specifics of our trip, including some details that were already lost to casual memory.
Buying the couch was an event in my life. It wasn’t expensive, but the purple tapestry fabric - a perfect complement to my aunt’s Chinese Art Deco silk rug - was very expensive. I spent several months pining over the fabric swatch, sitting on my futon and looking at the room: cornsilk yellow walls, honey gold floors, oxblood recliner on the purple and teal rug, and feeling it was the perfect living room. The room is long gone, the cornsilk yellow walls but a memory. Today I said goodbye to the couch, since DH insists on keeping his four couches.
Standing at the airport, waiting for a cab (this is soooooo not New York), the heat was overwhelming. If this is what its like in November in Miami, I don’t even want to think about the warmer months. The trip down was (aside from waking up at 4 AM) relatively painless, until I tried to get my baggage. The first class seats give me the space to move around in without bumping in to someone, even on a full flight. The next two days will be grueling, but at least I’m not starting already broken. Well, not much.
He was like a puppy dog, bringing me his toys, waiting for the pat on the head of “good doggie” as I accepted his offerings. Except they weren’t toys, but people. He thought he was making introductions that would bowl me over, but in reality, I already knew these people, some of them for a long time. For example, I know that one university professor is even more of a loose canon than he is. By the end of the day, he understood better the scope of my professional network. I still don’t think he has a clue.
This should be the last trip of the year, and the flight home was thankfully easy; first class is so much easier to deal with. The drive home was rather haunting – in a very good way, not spooky, more surreal and magical. There was a bit of rain and wind which seemed to make those bright yellow and gold leaves still on the trees glow in the dark, almost fluoresce with the slightest light from car headlights as they fluttered in the wind. Leaves on the ground seemed to merge with the leaves on the tree to form a tunnel.
Sleeping in, having a relaxed and full breakfast is really the way to start a working day. The only problem is that there’s only about half of a working day left, as I learned today. It was a nice and productive day, even if the work didn’t start until early afternoon. I would prefer to work this way every day… if only it could be. I would also prefer to have my sanctuary at CEWIT back, but that’s not going to happen either. Perfect would be the sanctuary (quiet room with a view) with a comfortable chair.
OK, to be honest, I know this was a productive day but I am not remembering much, if anything, about it. The end of this month is a blur, trying to re-create entries from the document that is no more. I was doing OK with keeping up, which is why three weeks in the loss was so disappointing. I would like to think I’ll do better in December, but that will only happen if I can quickly catch up from this month. The holidays will most likely cause me enough trouble in keeping up with the daily flow.
In search of a new bed - upsizing to a king mattress, we went back and forth between beds before making a decision. And then more time on the mattresses. I don’t know quite what made me go back with the measuring stick and triple check the height of everything, but that’s when the scheme began to unravel. The mattress we selected would be above the footboard. The profiles would be all wrong. I love the Harvey Ellis bed, but I won’t spend that kind of money and not be happy with the result. We dodged the bullet
The garden – or more accurately, my front flower beds - never got a proper weeding during the growing season. Nothing got trimmed. I wasn’t around, then summer was miserably hot and humid, and then – bang! Fall is over. All the flower beds are in bad shape, with weeds everywhere. The roses have been mangled by the lawn trimming crews, but rudbeckia are self-sowing everywhere. I had to trim the hydrangeas, they grew so tall this year, there would be carnage over the winter. Now I just have to hope that it is a while before we get any snowfall.
Is it bad form that I was smiling on the inside? Am I evil for taking such sheer delight in the fact that even his attorney quickly recognized the validity of my points and concerns? I am not a lawyer, true, but having worked with several, having prepared license agreements, and broken several earlier digital protection technologies, I understand the finer points of concern. It was bonus that Boss Lady was there when the attorney articulate that I had correctly raised these issues. If she was paying any attention to the conversation. Dealing with this guy is most definitely tiring.
Two weeks later, I’m still thinking about the small batch sourdough concept. As much as I’d like to just dive in and do it, I haven’t. I am thinking that December is the time to try it. But first I want to think about a plan, a rhythm, for making the bread, and using up the extra. The occasional bit will still be extra. I’ve never really paid attention to sourdough recipes before, I need to dig a little to see what options or variations are possible with the bread itself, never mind the extra bits.
Even knowing that retrograde is approaching, I was left speechless by the beginnings of my unwanted day trip into the city. It was a bizarre version of Murphy’s law. The dress I intended to wear has unexpected stains on the front. The train ticketing app on my phone had to be updated. It also doesn’t use the Apple Wallet, you must manually enter your credit card into the app. The final touch? The train station parking lots (both!) were completely full so I turned around and headed home so himself could drop me off at the train station.
I hadn’t consciously thought about the concept before, it just came out of my mouth as we were discussing future options. As it did, I realized the idea had some really great potential, and as finer details just flowed out of me, I could almost see that future. The merits of the idea clearly resonated with himself: it wouldn’t be a full income replacement option, but it could provide supplemental income for a few years, and could easily be set aside if and when we decided to. Assuming, however, that we look for and find the right property.
Finishing a sweater is always a such rush that I feel like immediately cast on multiple new sweaters, never mind how many are already in progress on the needles. The feeling of accomplishment –particularly when the sweater turns out well- may be much more significant to me than others might think. Perhaps that feeling is somewhat heightened for me, given that it has been so long since I knit a sweater without some king of significant struggle. I am particularly happy that the wool content does not appear to bother me, and that such a light layer is so warm.
I wore my finished Foyle’s cardigan yesterday – all day – and didn’t get too warm, or itch. I was a little concerned about both possibilities, so that was a very good, happy-making knit wearing experience. On the down side, I was honestly more than a little surprised that there were absolutely no comments at knit night about the new sweater. I was a little surprised during the day that there were no comments, but knit night? Even after dropping a hint about how finishing sweaters makes me want to cast on multiple sweaters? Something’s rotten in Denmark.
Retrograde is here again. I don’t even need to look at a calendar to know that. The last few days have been filled with an increasing number of communication gaffes at work and at home. With two Virgos, home is always the most immediate and clearest indicator when the retrograde station is approaching. I have no work deliverables, no big projects in progress, so I hope to limp through work. Home, however is more challenging, as Himself generally prefers to hibernate in December. Retrograde on top of his usual December bluster gives me more than a moment’s pause.
Was today’s BooBoo’s birthday / anniversary? I don’t know, but it has to be either today or tomorrow. I had a passing thought of Fionn on Thursday, and yes it still hurts that he's gone. I have to work hard to cultivate every bit of closeness with BooBoo – Fionn gave his heart to me easily, as a kitten he bonded immediately with both me and Merlin. As himself is home all day, he spends more time with BooBoo than I possibly can. Boo does enjoy settling on my legs at times, but I want more from my cat.
Reading their outlines, it is almost like they don’t understand the essential point of the project. Then again, maybe that is exactly the problem. Despite reading the abstract, all they can think of is the same old - same old. I am being very judgmental, but they have both offered up such lackluster topics I am appalled. There is almost no way to dress up their content as something interesting to middle school students. It is setting the teachers up for failure. I have many thoughts about techno-geek guys that I would love to give vent to, but no.
Pumpkin pie. It is one of my favorite desserts. I’ve been making it for decades, quite literally. I made it in Germany. From scratch. With ingredients shipped overseas to me by my mom. So why is it that I still have issues with pie crust? Or is it this recipe? The dough was fighting me, it seemed dry. I like the way the custard came out, with a slight jiggle in the center, but the crust is rather pale and wan. Never mind, I’m sure with a good cup of whipped cream on top it will be delicious.
Amid the Thanksgiving joy of turkey, I’ve lost this year’s Little Drummer Boy game, thanks to PeeWee Herman and his Christmas special - bloody hell! We happened to run across it on IFC tonight, just after dinner. I’ve never seen any PeeWee Herman stuff, but DH loves PeeWee and wanted to watch, so we did. And right there, in the first fifteen minutes we were watching, was GRACE JONES singing a version of THAT SONG. It was literally 6:30 PM, post-dinner on Thanksgiving, the very start of this year’s game play and I’m out.
Opening the document today to continue writing my words today, I am shocked to see many empty entries. Entries that I know I wrote. Many of which I have already posted – but unfortunately not all of them. I immediately scoured my computer for another file named November, but it is not there. I’ve lost my words? The updated file – which I just added to yesterday! – is nowhere to be found. I have no idea how it happened. And TimeMachine shows a file date of the 15th. Now I am distinctly behind, at the end of the month. Again. Bah!
Mom finally admitted the problem. Dad got lost driving to his haircut appointment. I’ve been expecting this day for six months, I don’t know why I am surprised by its arrival. A detailed map – a cell phone – might help stave off the inevitable for some period of time. But the deeper question: should dad be driving alone anymore? Should he be driving at all? Can I get mom to seriously consider the real probability that the house will be too much for them within the next few years? Would dad be able to cope with a different house?
Its still too early to be festive, in a holiday mood. Yes, Thanksgiving and Black Friday are both done, but I’m still not feeling it. I put up a few fairy lights inside while himself hung some lights in the backyard. I got the present for Miss Alice ordered but have nothing else for anyone. I organized my cards for the card swap but didn’t actually write any. Fairy Hoarmother still hasn’t appeared at LSG. So to see pictures from someone with their decorated (artificial) tree – that were posted nearly two months ago? – was really, truly shocking.
I did it again and posted something to the wrong date. Not like it will matter, things are a bit scrambled this month. I’m down to just two missing entries at this point, and in another sixty-four words I’ll only have one more entry to make up. I hate writing like this, just to get word count, with nothing real to say, but this is where I am now, doing something to check the boxes. I still don’t know what happened to my document, but there were some decent entries in there with some reflective thoughts.
He asks me to turn down the volume of the outside world and turn up the volume of the inside. To cut back on the volume of data coming to my eyes and ears. To seek more silence, calm, peace – the gift of spaciousness. To meditate more – which would mean to start meditating. To get more in touch with my feelings and intuitions from my inner world. It sounds rather woo, but I completely agree that I would benefit from some silence, calm and solitude. The question I wrestle with is how, in the next few days, to achieve this?
Both words and yarn are a little out of control this month. I did buy more yarn – not cashmere – hoping to create a wonderful heathered sweater (finishing a sweater causes a certain inevitable spring to more yarn I wasn’t able to control this time). I have more yarn in a basket but I am working very hard to not buy it. Very hard. I have not bought yarn for the Carbeth Swan Dance that I very much want to knit. I don’t have sufficient non-colourmart yarn, no matter how many times I keep looking at my stash.
Making a mad, mid-day dash into a local Michael’s store for some crafting supplies, I was astonished at how crowded it was. Yes, it is that time of year; yes, I avoid the stores because they are crowded and filled with bat-crazy shoppers, yes, yes, I know. I won’t go to a mall after Thanksgiving because of all of the above. But MICHAELS? At mid-day? On a weekday? More than three weeks before Christmas? Seriously? Some things are simply not to be believed, even if seen. Brick and mortar retail certainly seems alive and well.
There will be no anniversary party this year. A few weeks ago, she declared she would not be hosting it. Tonight I was going to suggest that we have the party at my house, but then she announced that for the next three weeks she will not be around for the weekly gathering. That means she wouldn’t be at the anniversary party – and neither will her BFF. With that news I threw in the towel on the idea of hosting the party at Crimson Palace. I bought some yarn instead, from the UK – possibly as knit nite Christmas presents.
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